Swimming season is here!

This summer, instead of hunting online for water quality results and beach locations, why not give Swim Guide a try and find your perfect beach!

Spending a day at the beach is a great way to get outside and appreciate nature! Our watershed is full of amazing beaches, so a perfect swimming spot is never too far away if you want to cool down and enjoy the water. Whether you are a seasoned beach goer or if you have only gone a few times, there are a few important considerations to remember before grabbing your towels and volleyballs.

Before heading to the beach you first have to know which one you want to go to! Luckily there is a fantastic resource, Swim Guide, an app and website, which has data on hundreds of beaches in our watershed and thousands worldwide. It provides updates on water quality and closures, so you can plan your outing! Checking Swim Guide and the weather means that you won’t get surprised by rain or lightning. Remember that rain may cause combined sewer overflows or runoff from shore which can negatively impact water quality, and that could trigger a beach closure!

Swim Guide started at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper with the aim of answering a simple question; is it safe to swim in Lake Ontario? There was no straightforward yes or no answer to this question – so they developed Swim Guide to keep people updated on changing conditions. Ottawa Riverkeeper has been involved with Swim Guide since the beginning, updating the information for beaches in our watershed daily, and ensuring that water quality information is easily available to the public. The water quality information found on Swim Guide comes from 15 different regional administrative bodies, as well as our own in-house water quality testing. So this summer, instead of hunting online for water quality results and beach locations, why not give Swim Guide a try and find your perfect beach! Don’t forget to bring lots of water (no single-use plastic bottles) and sunscreen!

Finally, this year the Swim Guide app allows you to take beach photos and share them with us! So snap a picture and show us how much you love your local waterways.

Happy swimming!

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