The municipal beach in Brownsburg-Chatham was recently closed for the first time this summer. The beach, located on the Ottawa River at the municipal marina and campground on Route 344, was closed from August 6 to 8. David Toussaint, the municipal Director of Recreation and Culture said Brownsburg-Chatham participates in a voluntary beach water testing program called Environnement-Plage offered by the Québec department of the environment, sustainable development, and fight against climate change. Water samples are taken five times a summer and a sample in early August showed high bacteria levels. Toussaint said the hot weather following a period of heavy rain combined to cause poor water quality. Blue-green algae growth is one of the effects of poor water quality. Conditions improved by August 8 and the beach has remained open since.
According to the Environnement-Plage website, locations that take part in the program must be public bathing beaches where lifeguards are present, and the swimming area is marked by ropes and buoys. Municipalities taking part in the program are required to post water quality information on signage at beaches, on websites, and in the local media.