Effective immediately, a swimming advisory is in effect for Chestermere Lake.
The advisory is in effect and swimming areas are closed in order to allow time for Alberta Health Services (AHS) to investigate recent test results indicating increased and excessive levels of enterococcus faecalis (fecal matter) present in the water.
As AHS is not conducting lake water quality testing this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chestermere contracted a private company to test lake water quality this summer. This temporary water quality concern was identified through the City’s regular weekly water quality testing program in partnership with Palliser Environmental Services Ltd. and the Western Irrigation District.
City officials are working closely with Alberta Health Services and Palliser Environmental Services Ltd. and multiple areas around the lake will be re-tested in the coming days. While the beaches and beach areas will remain open during this investigative period, access to the water from the beaches will be closed and signage posted advising of the potential health risks related to entering the water.
All swimming areas will remain closed through the weekend and into next week as a precaution.
Lake users may still use motorized and non-motorized water vessels and access the boat launch as long as they are not swimming in, or otherwise physically entering the water. Beaches are open but water access is not permitted.
Officials will reassess the situation and provide an update once new test results have been processed.
The City thanks residents and visitors to the lake for their understanding and cooperation as these precautions are being taken in the interest of public safety.
According to Alberta Health Services guidance, gastrointestinal illness may result from contact with contaminated water and there is the possibility of skin, ear and eye infections with water contact. As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any river, lake or reservoir, at any time. Water-borne organisms, including fecal bacteria, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If you have any of these symptoms, contact Health Link at 811 or call your physician.
This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.