By Sean McIntosh
Two beaches were declared unsafe for swimming in the Quinte Bay area by the Hastings Prince Edward Counties Health Unit this past weekend.
Both beaches, Wellington Beach, in Wellington Bay in Prince Edward County, and Centennial Park beach, in the Bay of Quinte, in Belleville, reached high levels of bacteria and were labeled unsafe. The water on both beaches reported an amount of E. coli, which is a bacteria found in droppings of almost all warm-blooded life forms, higher than the standard set by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Hasting and Prince Edwards Counties Health Unit tested the waters of Wellington Beach and Centennial Park, along with other beaches in the Quinte area, weekly. When it discovered the two beaches had abnormally high E. coli they put up signs warning people
The water could have been contaminated by storm water run-off, sewer overflows, faulty septic systems, among other potential causes. Swimming in water with elevated E. coli can cause a variety of infections or irritations, commonly skin, eye, ear infections, and stomach disorders.