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As mandated by the Canadian government, 200 is the maximum number of fecal coliform bacteria allowed per 100ml of water in “Primary Contact” areas – beaches such as English Bay and Kitsilano. However, coliform testing is only used to determine quality if the water has failed to meet several previous requirements, including a test for “Acute Lethality” – achieved by placing a group of rainbow trout into a bucket of treated water. If more than 50% of the fish perish, additional testing is required.
Sunset Beach had the highest counts of 2011, at roughly 90, while the cleanest swimming beach was Deep Cove in North Vancouver. False Creek East, though not deemed a Primary Contact Recreational Water Body (swimming beach) topped the charts at 644 on August 30, 2011.
Bring on beach season!