Island Health advises swimmers avoid portion of Lantzville waterfront

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
August 1, 2018 - 5:52pm Updated: August 2, 2018 - 7:34am

This advisory greets people at the Benwaldun Rd. beach access in Lantzville. The warning could be lifted by Friday, pending lab results. Mary Alyward/Facebook

NANAIMO — Island Health recommends people avoid taking a dip in a section of Lantzville's waterfront after tests showed higher than acceptable amounts of fecal bacteria.

A sign posted at the Benwaldun Rd. beach access advises people not to swim in the area due to contaminated water. Island Health medical health officer Dr. Shannon Waters said the advisory for the Lantzville beach was posted Monday and could be removed by Friday, pending new lab results.

She said common exposure symptoms are gastrointestinal illnesses, along with ear, nose and throat irritation.

Dr. Waters said it's unclear how many people have fallen ill from the Lantzville advisory.

“There would be illness out there it's just really hard to quantify.”

Waters said it's often difficult to pinpoint the source of bacteria in cases like this, but narrowed plausible causes to nearby homes or boat traffic.

She said Island Health regularly does fresh and salt water tests between early May and Labour Day weekend, typically yielding several bacteria related warnings annually.

Similar advisories are currently in place at several Vancouver area recreation areas.


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