Interior Health has issued a swimming advisory for Reiswig Regional Park on Wood Lake.
A swimming advisory is a notice to swimmers that bacterial levels are currently higher than those allowed in the guidelines for Canadian recreational water quality.
Swimming is not recommended because if water is ingested, swimmers may develop gastrointestinal illness, skin rashes, and eye, ear and throat symptoms. The very young, the very old and people with weakened immunity are the most susceptible.
Staff with the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) regularly collect water samples from a number of regional beaches. Those samples are passed on to Interior Health to be analyzed. Some beaches, with historically high E. coli counts, get sampled weekly.
Beach water quality can fluctuate due to factors including lake currents, runoff and the outflow of creeks, changing environmental factors and waterfowl and animal waste.
The RDCO says contamination can also rise during and after rainstorms, like the ones we have seen over the last few days and recent weeks in the Okanagan.
Signs will be posted to warn Reiswig Regional Park users of the swimming advisory. The advisory will be lifted when testing shows bacteria levels have returned to what is considered acceptable.
RDCO, the District of Lake Country and Interior Health are also monitoring an algal bloom on Wood Lake. A cautionary blue-green algae advisory was issued on June 8, 2022.