Several Windsor-Essex beaches still under bacteria warnings

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The calendar may almost say autumn, but some local beaches have restrictions due to bacteria.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said three beaches have posted warnings against swimming because of high levels of E. coli bacteria. One beach, Holiday Beach, is closed completely due to safety issues arising from beach erosion.

The latest beach quality report from the health unit said Colchester Beach in Essex, Windsor’s Sandpoint Beach and Lakeshore’s West Belle River Beach have issued beach warnings due to elevated E. coli counts. They range from 304 at Sandpoint to 636 at Colchester.

Warnings are posted when the water samples have E. coli levels that are greater than 200 per 100 millilitres of water and are shut down when the E. coli count is 1,000 per 100 millilitres of water or higher. People can get sick from the water with high levels of E. coli, with intestinal ailments as well as skin problems and other infections. Swallowing contaminated water is the main way people may get sick.

The remaining beaches in Windsor-Essex have no restrictions. They are Mettawas Beach, Cedar Beach, Seacliff Beach and Point Pelee West Beach.

The WECHU samples water at these beaches once a week between June and September.

-With files from Paul Pedro