Two popular Vancouver beaches are off limits to swimmers.

According to the Vancouver Coastal Health website, repeat single samples of water off Sunset Beach showed E. coli counts exceeding 862 per 100 millilitres.

That’s far above the single sample limit of less than 400 E. coli per 100 millilitres.

English Bay is also closed for swimming after samples exceeded the other standard: a geometric mean of less than 200 E. coli per 100 millilitres based on the five previous samples. The waters there showed a geometric mean exceeding 263 E. coli per 100 millilitres.

The two recent beach closures come after the following locations were closed to swimming in June: Trout Lake, Sandy Beach in West Van, and Snug Cove off Bowen Island.

High E. coli counts can elevate the risk of gastrointestinal illnesses and skin or eye infections, according to the Vancouver Coastal Health website.

Rising numbers of these bacteria can be due to several factors, including:

The high E. coli counts could be due to a number of factors, including:

• boats that dump sewage in the water

• warmer water allowing bacteria to proliferate

• lack of tidal flush

• an increase in people and dogs on beaches

• birds

Source : Straight

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