An evaluation of southeastern Ontario recreational water quality.
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Fecal contamination in recreational waters causes adverse health outcomes in humans; yet, surprisingly, a paucity of literature addresses recreational water quality in North America. The authors addressed this gap by evaluating E. coli contamination of southeastern Ontario, Canada, recreational beach waters between the years 2008-2011. They tested water samples for microbial contamination by the membrane filtration method. They used Friedman's and repeated measures analyses of variance and descriptive statistics to assess annual and monthly E. coli levels as well as noncompliance to the Ontario bathing beach standard. Seven waters showed high noncompliance to the Ontario standard, which could negatively affect the health of local recreational beach users. The authors' study provides much needed baseline information on beach water quality. They call for greater recreational water sampling and reporting standardization across North American jurisdictions.
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