The beach in Barry’s Bay is closed for the time being.

Madawaska Valley Township says that the Renfrew County District Health Unit has posted signs at Lakeshore Beach. The unit says high levels of bacteria can pose a health risk and has discouraged use for bathing.

The Health Unit has confirmed to Moose FM that E-coli has been detected in the water. Manager of Healthy Environments with the Health Unit David Tantalo says the levels were above the threshold, and skin rashes, infection, vomiting and diarrhea are possible. He says users are warned to swim at their own risk. The unit will retest today and again later on. If the thresholds are acceptable, the advisory could be lifted by the end of the week. Tantalo says it’s not entirely clear what caused the spike, but says recent rains could have something to do with it.

The notice has caused Madawaska Valley to change swimming lessons that take place there until further notice. The township is currently getting Wadsworth Beach on Hopefield Road ready for these swimmers. Swim instructors will contact pupils with details.