FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new water monitoring protocol that follows federal guidelines is being adopted for Parlee Beach beginning this summer.

“Your government is committed to ensuring the safety of New Brunswick residents and visitors by adopting a better water quality monitoring protocol and by enhancing public communication about water quality results at Parlee Beach starting this year,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “Protecting the health of the public is a priority for us, and that is why we are getting things done to ensure the safety of New Brunswick residents and visitors.”

All the requirements in the protocol are in accordance with the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality, and include provisions that will ensure:

  • Increased monitoring frequency and locations (samples will be taken daily from five locations);
  • Training and sample collection is overseen by the Department of Environment and Local Government;
  • Public Health will receive and interpret the monitoring results;
  • Signs are posted to clearly indicate whether the water is suitable for swimming, or whether a no-swimming advisory or beach closure is in effect;
  • Auditing of the signage and advisories by Public Health; and
  • Monitoring results and any public health advisories will be posted online.

“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.”

In addition, a water quality monitoring protocol will be developed for Murray Beach and all other provincial parks based on the principles behind the protocol for Parlee Beach. The Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality require an assessment to be done for each provincial park in order to develop protocols for each of them. This assessment will be completed for all parks within the provincial park system before this summer.

Work is ongoing to identify the source of bacterial contamination in the Shediac Bay watershed. To be proactive, however, the government will take some immediate mitigation actions this summer that will be announced in the near future.

The government continues to collaborate with academic and private sector experts to identify sources of contamination throughout the watershed. The assessment being done should help the government address and mitigate contamination over the longer term.

“We commend the government for taking this better step today to use the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality, as increasing the sampling frequency will contribute to the work of identifying both point and non-point sources of bacteria throughout the watershed,” said Rémi Donelle, manager of the Shediac Bay Watershed Association. “We are committed to continue to be a partner with government to help address this issue going forward.”

The Parlee Beach water monitoring protocol is available online.