December 2, 2015 - Toronto, Ontario - Lake Ontario beach water quality met government standards 73% of the time in 2015, says a new report from Swim Guide (www.theswimguide.org). This is an improvement over 2014, when water quality met standards only 60% of the summer.
The results come from Swim Guide, the web’s most comprehensive beach water quality service. Swim Guide compared monitoring results for 1,496 beaches around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and calculated the number of days beaches in each watershed passed water quality tests, failed water quality tests, or had no data. The report includes results from 345 beaches in the Lake Ontario watershed. The findings published in the second annual Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Beach Report.
The biggest change between 2014 and 2015 was the decrease in days when no water quality information was available. In 2014, Lake Ontario water quality data was not available for 29% of the summer. 2015 saw a significant improvement, with the number of “no data” days dropping to 14%. That’s a sign that more water quality information is being released to the public more often.
The 2015 beach report also includes a list of the five most-popular beaches on each lake. On Lake Ontario, three out of the five most popular beaches are located in Toronto, Ontario.
The full report is available online at www.theswimguide.org (infographic).
Key Stats and Trends
- There are 345 beaches in Swim Guide located in the Lake Ontario watershed.
- Lake Ontario beach water quality met government standards 73% of the summer (compared to 60% in 2014)
- Lake Ontario beach water quality failed to meet government standards 13% of the summer (compared to 11% in 2014)
- Lake Ontario water quality information was unavailable or unreliable 14% of the summer (compared to 29% in 2014).
- Kinsmen Beach is the most viewed beach in the Lake Ontario watershed, it also has some of the poorest water quality results.
“A swimmable Great Lakes system is one where more beaches are sampled more frequently and meet standards more often than ever before. We aren’t there yet, but we are getting closer.” -- Mark Mattson, President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
“Lake Ontario remains the most popular destination in Swim Guide. With 9-million people in the watershed and attractive beaches from one end of the lake to the other, this isn’t a surprise to us.” -- Krystyn Tully, Vice-President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
Waterkeeper Swim Guide is a beach information service created by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. With over 560,000 all-time users, it offers water quality alerts, beach descriptions, photos, and directions for over 7,000 beaches in Canada, the U.S.A., as well as Baja Mexico, and New Zealand. More information: www.theswimguide.org
Swim Guide Program Manager