What bacteria are present in the water and what are its effects?
The water quality samples evaluate the levels of Enterococci bacteria in the water. Enterococci indicate faecal contamination in recreational waters. Possible health risks of swimming in water with a high Enterococci count could include skin irritation or infection, upper respiratory illness, and gastrointestinal upset. The likelihood of these is related to individual health status, which includes factors such as compromised immune system, health conditions, and age (very old or very young).
Do we know the source of the bacteria?
Enterococci bacteria occur in both human and animal faeces. There could be many sources that contribute the bacterial contamination observed in the Shediac Bay Watershed, including: human/wastewater, domestic animals, wildlife, etc.
What is government doing to address the bacterial contamination?
Government will be collaborating with academic and private sector experts to identify both point and non-point sources of bacteria throughout the Shediac Bay Watershed. This work will include compiling historical data to better understand trends as well as developing and implementing a robust water quality sampling program. This work should give government a clearer picture to address and mitigate, where possible, the sources of bacteria.