MONCTON (GNB) – Provincial government officials are reviewing the current water quality rating system and addressing the ongoing water quality issues at Parlee Beach and in the Shediac Bay watershed.

“Your government understands that water quality in the Shediac Bay watershed is an area of concern,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “We are listening and taking action to ensure the health and safety of New Brunswickers. We want residents and visitors to be able to enjoy Parlee Beach now and for years to come.”

The evaluation will determine how to improve the current water quality testing and rating system, which dates back to 2001, and to update it in time for the 2017 beach season. As part of these efforts, recommendations for enhanced public communication about water quality results, including posting results online and increasing on-site signage, will be evaluated.

In addition, the government is collaborating with academic and private sector experts to identify sources of contamination throughout the watershed. This should provide a clearer picture for government to address and mitigate, the contamination.

A project manager has been hired by the government to oversee these initiatives.

“Protecting the health and safety of the public is a priority for the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health,” said acting chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell. “That is why we are taking action to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.”

The provincial government has developed a new web page to provide information regarding the work and research underway.