Central Elgin has some of the best beaches around, which is verified yearly by the Blue Flag Program. This internationally known initiative recognizes communities that are committed to sustaining excellent water quality standards.

During the swimming season, up-to-date water test results can be found on the Southwestern Public Health Unit's website. The water quality in the Municipality is tested throughout the months of July and August at:

  • Erie Rest Beach
  • Little Beach
  • Main Beach

If E. Coli bacteria levels exceed provincial standards, Southwestern Public Health will issue an advisory on swimming at that beach. The beach will remain open for activities like sunbathing, walking and volleyball even if an advisory has been issued.

Warning Signs

Beaches are posted with warning signs because the water may contain high levels of bacteria. You should not swim if the water is cloudy or following a heavy rainfall. You should be able to see your feet in waist deep water.

Causes of High Bacteria Levels

There are a number of causes of high bacteria levels:
  • Faulty or overworked septic systems
  • Farming runoff
  • Sewage treatment plant by-passes
  • Fecal matter from pets, wildlife and birds, like seagulls
  • Heavy rainfall because of surface water runoff
  • High wave action can stir up bacteria settled on the lake bottom


Dunes provide a natural wall between the water and any garbage and that is why Central Elgin create dunes and have a Dune Management Plan.

Blue Flag Program

Central Elgin is happy to announce that Main Beach in Port Stanley has been awarded with Blue Flag status again! This is an incredible honour. The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches meeting environmental, water quality, safety, and services criteria.

The Blue Flag designation assures beach-goers that:

  • We are compliant with requirements and standards for excellent bathing water quality
  • There is no industrial or sewage related discharges that may affect the beach area
  • We are compliant with the requirements for sewage treatment and effluent quality


To learn more information on the criteria for these awards please visit Swim Drink Fish. This organization is the Blue Flag Program's Canadian National operator.