In the summer months, beaches on the river can be closed by the local municipal health department if water quality conditions pose a health risk to swimmers. However, regulations on either side of the river are very different:
Did you know that the City of Gatineau only tests 5 times a season? That’s only once every few weeks! In Ottawa, the water is tested daily to ensure safe swimming conditions.
We’re trying to increase the amount of information available to you about the quality of your water – this includes asking for real-time reporting that lets you know when sewage has overflowed in to the river, making it unsafe for you to swim. Write a letter to your mayor today.
Find out about water quality in real time at National Capital Region beaches and all over North America using the Swim Guide.
Info on Beach Water Quality
- Renfrew County District Beaches (e.g., Arnprior, Cobden, Petawawa, Pembroke, etc)
- Eastern Ontario Beaches (e.g., Hawksbury)
Find out about permissible E.coli levels and beach closures
For all other water quality questions for the municipality of Ottawa (e.g., Constance Bay), please call 3-1-1 for up to date information.