Recreational Water Monitoring

What is Recreational Water Monitoring?

In Alberta, recreational water monitoring is carried out in order to assess the exposure risk of lake users to Enterococcus bacteria, and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Monitoring is coordinated by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services at priority beach locations across Alberta, from late May to early September. Results of the monitoring may result in advisories posted to specific beach locations (Enterococcus), or for a lake as a whole (cyanobacteria).

With support from Alberta Health, ALMS has hired a Recreational Water Technician to coordinate volunteers to sample beaches throughout Alberta for public health targets as part of Alberta Health’s recreational water monitoring network. The Recreational Water Technician has a technical diploma or degree in environmental public health or a related field, and has experience with program coordination and management.

Sarah Klimchuk, Recreational Water Technician

Sarah graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Although she was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Sarah has been admiring the beauty and adventure within Alberta lakes and mountains throughout her life from Sylvan Lake to Sulphur Skyline Trail. Sarah began working with ALMS as an intern in 2021 for a research project with the University of Alberta, and took on the role of Recreational Water Technician in 2022. Sarah is excited to be back as Recreational Water Technician this summer and looking forward to working with Beach Operators, volunteers, and beach-goers this season to support and promote safe, healthy, and fun recreational water use!

Brandon Coull, Recreational Water Technician

Brandon’s interest in freshwater ecology began by spending his summers at Lac Sante fishing and boating. He always preferred spending his time outdoors and that led him to a career in biology. He went to the University of Alberta where he graduated with a B.Sc. specializing in ecology and conservation in 2022. Bandon focused his studies on freshwater communities and worked in a lab sampling streams across Alberta while in school. He is eager to start his job as a recreational water technician and is excited to see what the summer holds.

View the provincial Safe Beach Protocol here

Enterococcus and Cyanobacteria Training Videos: 

ALMS/AHS Recreational Water Monitoring Webinar:

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