Page 20: Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality – Third Edition

Appendix D: Recreational swimming area Environmental Health and Safety Survey (EHSS) checklist

Identification

  • Beach Name:
  • Address:
  • Responsible Authority:
  • Tel.:
  • Fax:
  • E-mail:
  • Person(s) Conducting Survey:
  • Date:
  • Time:

Background Information

  • Water Body Type:
  • Dimensions of Beach:
    • Length (m):
    • Width (m):
  • Dimensions of Swimming Area:
    • Length (m):
    • Width (m):
  • Number of Sampling Sites:
    [Attach Map or Aerial Photo of Suitable Scale (including location of sample sites)]
  • Water Temperature
    • High/Low(°C) :
    • Average (°C):
  • Prevailing Winds
    • Direction:
    • Avg. Speed (km/h) :
  • Prevailing Currents
    • Direction:
    • Avg. Speed (km/h) :
  • Seasonal Rainfall
    • Total (mm) :
    • 24-h High (mm) :
  • Wave Height
    • Average (m) :
    • Range (m) :
  • Surrounding Land Uses:
    • Urban
    • Rural
    • Agricultural (specify):
    • Residential
    • Forest
    • Commercial (specify):
    • Field
    • Hills/Uplands
    • Industrial (specify):
    • Marsh/Swamp
    • Landfill
    • River/Stream/Ditch:
    • Harbour
    • Other:
    • Other:

Microbiological Hazards

Potential Sources of Faecal Contamination

  • Municipal Sewage Discharges
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)
  • Stormwater Drains/Discharges
  • Septic Waste Systems
  • Wastes from Animal Feeding Operations
  • Other Discharges Containing Faecal Wastes (List):
  • Other Sewage Collection/Disposal/Treatment Systems (List):
  • Stormwater Runoff from:
    • Agricultural Areas
    • Areas Receiving Sewage Sludge
    • Beach and Surrounding
    • Other:
    • Other:
  • Other Environmental Sources:
    • Discharging Rivers/Streams/Creeks
    • Birds (e.g., gulls, ducks, geese, other)
      (#’s: None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Other wild animals
      (#’s: None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Pets
      (#’s: None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Swimmers
      (#’s: None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Other:
    • Other:

Items for Consideration during the Resulting Risk Assessment:

  • Proximity of potential contamination sources to the swimming area.
  • Potential for contamination sources to have an impact on the swimming area (including an indication of their risk priority: Low, Medium, High).
  • Evaluation of water quality according to historical microbiological data (e.g., frequency of exceedances of the guideline values for the recommended indicators of faecal contamination [e.g., continuous/periodic/sporadic]).
  • Discharges: Assessment of such factors as volume, flow rate, treatment type, applicable indicator standards, periodicity (continuous, sporadic) and predictability.
  • Effects of rainfall: Levels triggering contamination events and typical event duration.
  • Assessment of swimming area circulation: Effect of onshore winds, tides, currents, flow patterns in transporting faecal contamination to and entrapping it within the swimming area.
  • Animals and birds: Assessment of their types, numbers and droppings.
  • Impact of swimmers on water quality—numbers, ages.
  • Assessment of potential barriers: Barrier types and points at which they may be applied to reduce impact of the contamination source and/or swimmer exposure.

Chemical Hazards

Potential Sources of Chemical Contamination

  • Commercial/Industrial Discharges
  • Marinas
  • Motorized Watercraft
  • Other:
  • Other:
  • Stormwater Runoff From:
    • Areas subject to Pesticide Application
    • Urban Areas
    • Other:
    • Areas subject to Fertilizer Application

Items for Consideration during the Resulting Risk Assessment:

  • Proximity of potential contamination sources to the bathing area.
  • Potential for contamination sources to have an impact on the swimming area (including an indication of their risk priority: Low, Medium, High).
  • Discharges: Assessment of such factors as volume, flow rate, treatment type, periodicity (continuous, sporadic) and predictability.
  • Effects of rainfall: Levels triggering contamination events and typical event duration.
  • Assessment of swimming area circulation: Effect of onshore winds, tides, currents, flow patterns in potentially transporting chemical contamination to and entrapping it within the swimming area.
  • Motorized watercraft: Assessment of their types and numbers.
  • Assessment of potential barriers: Barrier types and points at which they may be applied to reduce impact of the contamination source and/or swimmer exposure.

Other Biological Hazards

Other Biological Hazards Known to Affect the Recreational Water Area (Presence may be continuous, seasonal or sporadic.)

  • Cyanobacterial Blooms
  • Schistosomes (Swimmer's Itch)
  • Large Numbers of Aquatic Plants
  • Other (specify):
  • Other (specify):

Items for Consideration during the Resulting Risk Assessment:

  • Seasonal nature of the hazard: continuous, annual, sporadic.
  • Presence of contributing factors (as applicable): water conditions, local geography, temperatures, nutrient levels, presence of appropriate host species.
  • Assessment of potential barriers to control hazard and/or reduce human exposure in areas/during times of increased risk.

Physical Hazards and Aesthetic Considerations

  • Subsurface Hazards:
    • Steep Slopes or Dropoffs
    • Depths greater than 4.5 m
    • Large Rocks
    • Slippery or Uneven Bottom
    • Other:
    • Other:
  • Water Conditions:
    • Strong Currents or Rip Tides
    • Undertows
  • Other:
    • Litter on Beach
      ( None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Floating Debris
      ( None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Broken Glass or Other Sharp Objects
      ( None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Medical Wastes
      ( None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Seaweed/Algae on Beach
      ( None Low Med High [circle one])
    • Vehicles Permitted on Beach or Near Bathing Area:
      • Automobiles Y / N
      • Boats/Watercraft Y / N
      • Specify:

Items for Consideration during the Resulting Risk Assessment:

  • Assessment of the physical characteristics of the beach and their potential impacts on safe enjoyable use of the area. Includes evaluation of physical layout (geography, topography), composition of shoreline and bottom material, influence of existing structures.
  • Assessment of potential risks posed by specific hazards/factors in causing injury or illness or otherwise interfering with the enjoyable use of the area.
  • Shoreline and water free from obstructions and of sufficient clarity to permit viewing of persons who may be in distress.
  • Assessment of the nature and origin of litter and floating debris.
  • Applicable physical and aesthetic parameters (pH, temperature, turbidity, colour, clarity, litter) in agreement with recommendations given in the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality.
  • Assessment of potential barriers to control hazard and/or reduce human exposure in areas/during times of increased risk.

Facilities and Safety Provisions

  • Facilities:
    • Toilets #:
    • Showers #:
    • Drinking Water Fountains #:
    • Litter Bins #:
    • Other: #:
    • Other: #:
    • Access for Persons with Disabilities
  • Safety Provisions:
    • Lifeguard Stations #:
    • Lifesaving Equipment #:
    • Emergency Telephone #:
    • First Aid Stations #:
  • Signs/Communication Materials:
    • Beach Posting/Suitability for Swimming
    • Emergency Contact Information
    • Other Hazards (list):
    • Other:
    • Formal Procedures or Reporting Mechanisms in Place to Deal with:
      • Municipal or Industrial Spills/Discharges/Treatment Bypasses
      • Waterborne Disease Outbreaks
      • Swimmer Injuries

Items for Consideration during the Resulting Risk Assessment:

  • Assessment of the adequacy of facilities and safety provisions.
  • Evaluation of signs and other materials for public communication: Message clear and concise, signs placed in locations highly visible to the public.
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