Water testing: ‘The river is a precious gem’

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by admin on May 21, 2014

One od the FOG volunteers, Steve Ferguson, hitting the water for a round of testing back in August of 2012. Taken on the Gatineau River, just down-stream of Wakefield.

One od the FOG volunteers, Steve Ferguson, hitting the water for a round of testing back in August of 2012. Taken on the Gatineau River, just down-stream of Wakefield.

Testing the waters of the Gatineau River is as much about keeping the river healthy as it is about keeping swimmers healthy.

By Anastasia Philopoulos

With the summer almost upon us, thoughts of splashing around in the river or playing some serious water Frisbee might be on your mind. But it’s important to consider the health of the Gatineau River and your own health before diving in.

River Keeper Meredith Brown says that while the Gatineau is known to be pretty clean, swimmers and paddlers should still remain aware.

“I have to stress it’s so important that people understand where your water comes from and what the threats are. Investigate and know, don’t assume that someone is taking care of it.”

In Quebec, only public beaches like those in the Gatineau Park are tested for water quality by the province. Brown says the problem is that none of the popular water holes along the Gatineau are designated public beaches. Luckily, Friends of the Gatineau have been testing the river for more than a decade now and publish the results publicly (you’ve probably seen results in the Low Down).

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