Statement from the City of Port Colborne Re: Reported E. coli levels in Sugarloaf Harbour

Posted by Michelle Cuthbert on Friday, July 26th, 2019

On Thursday, July 25, 2019 Swim Drink Fish, a Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative, reported extremely high levels of E. coli in Sugarloaf Harbour as a result of testing over a six week period.


Staff first became aware of the potentially unsafe water conditions through the media report on Thursday, July 25. It is concerning that the City was not notified of these adverse results directly by Swim Drink Fish.


Historically, swimming is prohibited at Sugarloaf Marina with “No Swimming” signs posted and the public is encouraged to access alternate beach front locations in Port Colborne. The City’s understanding is that the area of testing is not an area where the public would typically access for swimming.


A local third-party recreation operator situated at Sugarloaf Marina, Boarder Pass Niagara, is aware of the adverse results and has temporarily suspended their operations until the municipality can obtain verified test results.


The City has been in contact with Niagara Region Public Health to inquire if they can sample the water in the area around Boarder Pass Niagara’s operation and provide these results to allow the City to address any unsafe conditions that may be present.  


Currently, the two beaches operated by the City of Port Colborne, Nickel Beach and Cedar Bay / Centennial Beach, are open and safe for swimming based on testing results received today.


City staff will be providing updates as they become available.


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