Water Quality & Levels

The City of Ottawa tests the water quality at all their beaches daily during the summer.  Samples are taken daily for coliform and e-coli bacteria counts. For water quality information, call the Beach Information Line at 613-580-6744, ext. 13219.  The information is updated at noon daily, based on the previous day’s water samples.  The present and past readings are also available here on the City’s website.

A no swimming advisory will be issued if bacteria levels are over 200 E. coli per 100 ml of water tested or if they are over 100 E. coli per 100 ml of water tested on 2 or more consecutive days. A 24-hour no swimming advisory for the north beach will be issued after a rainfall of 20 mm or more.

Petrie Island has received a lot of bad publicity about its water quality.  This reputation stemmed from a 2006 sewage spill.  If you look at the City of Ottawa’s readings, Petrie Islands’s east beach has the best water quality of all Ottawa beaches for 2009.  Please see here for more information about water quality at Petrie Island, historical statistics, water quality studies, etc.

Click here for current beach conditions.

Petrie Island Water Levels

To determine the accessibility of the island use the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board website.  The “Gatineau” reading in the Water Level chart on the right side can be used  to estimate the conditions for Petrie Island.  All parts of Petrie are accessible if the levels are less than 42.0 metres above sea level, but when the numbers reach 42.5 the trails are not accessible and at 43.0 metres the road into Petrie is not accessible.