Ottawa Public Health Update - Drowning Prevention/Water Safety

Drowning Prevention/Water Safety

Summer is upon us and pools, beaches and water parks are now open.

Did you know that drowning can occur in as little as 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water?

There are many things you can do to keep you and your family safe around water. Here are some important water safety tips:

  • Stay within arm’s reach of children at all times, when in and around water
  • Ensure children and weaker swimmers are wearing a life jacket or a personal floatation device when, in and around water
  • Distraction free supervision - don’t text, read or run in and out of the house when children are near or in water
  • Ensure that your backyard pool is not accessible to children by using multiple layers of protection (e.g.: fences, self-closing gates)
  • Don’t consume drugs or alcohol when supervising and swimming with children
  • Keep safety equipment and a phone close
  • Register yourself and your family in swimming lessons. Swimming is a life skill that lasts a lifetime.


For more information on water safety, please visit: Ottawa Public Health and


It’s beach season!

Daily water sampling at the City of Ottawa’s supervised beaches began on Saturday June 17.

Water quality results are available at You can also find the most recent results on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Every day our summer students take five samples from each supervised beach to a lab for testing. That will be 1440 samples, or 288 litres of water, this year!

Our students make observations around water clarity, wind speed and direction, wave action, and bird activity. They also analyze rainfall and water level data to help us make the best predictions of water quality that we can.

When the most recent results for water quality fail to meet Provincial standards we issue a swimming advisory, telling the public that swimming is not recommended at those locations.

Other seasonal inspection work includes outdoor pool, splash pad and wading pool inspections. There are over 50 wading pools and 150 splash pads inspected every summer!

Beaches, outdoor pools, wading pools, and splash pads are all great places to cool off on a hot summer day.

Latest posts

Share this page

Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1