Despite Chestermere's best efforts, its beach still got swarmed by swimmers. The latest local test results showed "excessive" levels of fecal matter in the Albertan lake, leading to a swimming advisory. It's meant to buy time until AHS gets around to testing and confirming the water quality.
In a news release on Friday, August 14, the city of Chestermere issued an advisory "effective immediately" and closed all swimming areas at Chestermere Lake.
The lake is less than a 30-minute drive away from Calgary.
While they didn't give a specific date, they said swimming will be closed "through the weekend and into next week as a precaution."
You can still go to the beach, but just don't take a dip.
"While the beaches and beach areas will remain open during this investigative period," read the release, "access to the water from the beaches will be closed and signage posted advising of the potential health risks related to entering the water."
The city said AHS wasn't testing lake water quality over the summer due to COVID-19, so they hired a private company to do the scans.
The results came back showing "increased and excessive levels" of "fecal matter" in the water.
Now they're working with AHS and a private company to retest areas around the lake over the next few days.
According to the AHS, the contaminated water could lead to "gastrointestinal illness," as well as skin, eye and ear infections. Fecal bacteria can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Chestermere Lake is a super popular beach — so popular that on Tuesday, July 28, the town started charging non-locals $15 to hang out near the water.
COVID-19 limited the number of people allowed in the area; the fees are meant to "offset the costs of enforcing those limits," reads their news release.
If you're unsure whether the water of that lake you're visiting this weekend is safe, AHS has a hub for active water advisories.
The city said they'll send out another release after testing the water. But for now, it's best to avoid the excessively fecal lake.