The Government of Alberta has released the new Alberta Safe Beach Protocol. This collaborative document outlines recreational water quality standards and indicators designed to protect bathers from microbiological risks. It also introduces a site assessment tool used to survey for hazards, and a template that may be used to further evaluate and mitigate those hazards.
This protocol applies to natural and manmade recreational water sites in Alberta that have designated public access for recreational activities where people are likely to be immersed in the water and/or possibly ingest it.
The protocol does not apply to the following:
- non-beach areas of a lake where activities such as water skiing, windsurfing, tubing, canoe/kayaking and fishing occur;
- water stored in stormwater retention ponds, dugouts, hot springs and similar bodies of water;
- water-based amusement park activities;
- pools regulated under the Public Swimming Pools Regulation;
- water bodies and beaches not designated for public use;
- activities on ice-covered water bodies;
- injury risks associated with the use of boats and personal floatation devices; or
- water used solely as a source of drinking water.
For more information on this new protocol, contact Alberta Health’s environmental public health advisor at 780-427-4518.