June 14, 2019
CALGARY – Due to elevated levels of fecal indicator bacteria often found above recreational water guidelines in the water of the Elbow River (within the city of Calgary, between Sandy Beach and 9 Ave. S.E.), Alberta Health Services (AHS) is again issuing a reminder to the public not to swim or wade in the Elbow River at or between the above sites.
While an advisory related to this health concern has remained in place since July 8, 2016, this public reminder is being issued in advance of warm summer weather when more people are using the river for recreational activities.
If members of the public do decide to access the river, they should take precautions to protect themselves. Avoid face and mouth contact with river water to prevent incidental ingestion of water. Disease causing water-borne microorganisms, if present, are more likely to cause vomiting and/or diarrhea illness from ingestion of water.
Hand washing immediately after accessing the river can help protect against indirect exposure from activities such as eating.
AHS Environmental Public Health officers continue to work with the City of Calgary to monitor the water quality of the Elbow River and signage has been posted at common river access points.
This advisory will remain in effect until further notice. For more information, please see the following link: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/news/advisories/ne-pha-elbow-river-water-quality-faq.pdf.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.