Kits Beach closed to swimming due to high E. coli levels hours before fireworks festival

WATCH: Another popular Vancouver beach has been closed to swimming due to high E. Coli concerns. Kristen Robinson reports.

It’s sure to be a bummer for those hoping to catch Saturday’s fireworks display from the water in Kitsilano.

For the second year in a row, Kits Beach has been closed to swimming due to high E. coli levels — just hours before the Honda Celebration of Light was set to begin.

The Vancouver Park Board shared the bad news just before 2 p.m., saying Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) found unsafe levels during their most recent water samples.

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VCH said the standard level at Kits Beach is 400 E. coli per 100 millilitres.

Samples taken on July 26 at two stations at the beach found 12,997 E. coli per 100 millilitres at one area, and 1,515 per 100 millilitres at the other, a spokesperson for the health authority said.

A public health officer was unable to explain why one station recorded more than three times the same level, but said more information may be available on Monday.

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Kits Beach is one of the key locations for watching the Celebration of Light fireworks, which kicks off with a performance from India on Saturday at 10 p.m.

More than 400,000 people are expected to descend on the beaches surrounding English Bay to take in the show on each of the three nights of the festival.

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Signs have been put in place at Kits Beach before the festival begins warning swimmers not to enter the water, VCH said, adding the beach and park themselves are still safe to visit.

A similar E. coli warning was recently lifted from Sunset Beach, which was issued during the Canada Day long weekend.

Trout Lake in East Vancouver remains closed to swimming due to high E. coli levels, which were first reported on June 17.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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