Water Quality of Beaches and Winter Swimming Spots
The Environmental Office of the Oulu Region inspects the Oulu region’s official beaches and supervises the quality of water systematically with sampling. We supervise beaches in Oulu, Kempele, Liminka, Lumijoki, Muhos and Tyrnävä. Hailuoto does not have any official supervised beaches. The list of official beaches is found on the municipalities’ websites:
Beaches with EU status and small public beaches
Beaches are classified based on number of users to public beaches and small public beaches. Public beaches have the so-called EU status, and they expect a significant number of swimmers.
The Environmental Office of the Oulu Region supervises 41 official beaches, 9 of which have the EU status:
Jäälin monttu, Jääli
Lämsänjärvi Beach, Oulu
Nallikari Beach, Oulu
Papinjärvi Beach, Oulu
Rantakylä Swimming Spot, Liminka
Tuira Beach, Oulu
Valkiaisjärvi Beach, Oulu
Viinavuori Beach, Lumijoki
The quality of water on beaches with EU status is categorized as follows: excellent, good, sufficient and poor.
Samples are collected from official beaches regularly during the swimming season (15.6.-31.8.)
The quality of water of winter swimming spots is supervised systematically during the winter swimming season
Bacteria investigated in swimming water
The quality of swimming water is defined according to the so-called indicator bacteria content of the water (intestinal enterococcus and E. coli).
The indicator bacteria content indicates the amount of fecal contamination
Inland waters and coastal waters (saline water) have different action levels based on the amount of indicator bacteria that are used to evaluate water quality. The action levels are presented in the table below.
|Inland water (cfu/100 ml)
|Coastal water (cfu/100 ml)
|Observed on the beach or water
|Observed on the beach or water
Avoid swimming during times of large amounts of cyanobacterium in the waters. Even slight exposure can cause symptoms in sensitive people. If you swim, take a shower afterwards. Keep children out of the water because cyanobacterium-contaminated water can be dangerous in the mouth.
Cyanobacterium can produce poisonous or irritating substances in the water. Cyanobacterium-contaminated water can cause swimmers allergic skin-reactions, stomach troubles, flu and other general symptoms such as fever and headache.
What to do if you observe cyanobacterium:
Don’t let small children or pets into the water. Ensure that children and pets do not drink the water.
Don’t use contaminated water for washing, as sauna water or for dish washing.
If you swim or wade in contaminated water, wash yourself immediately with clean water
You may report your finding to Vesi.fi if you wish.
Swimmer’s itch is caused by microscopically small fluke’s larva, that can cause skin reactions. The larva that cannot be seen with a naked eye die quickly on the human’s skin.
Itching can last for some hours, but the spots can last up to a week.
Swimmer’s itch can be avoided by going into the water from the end of a pier and drying your skin with a rough towel carefully
Gonyostomum semen is not dangerous, but in large quantities it can cause an unpleasant slime-like coating over your skin.
It can cause redness and itching in people with sensitive skin.
After swimming in contaminated water, you should wash and dry your skin carefully
Announcement of a hazard in swimming waters
If you suspect that swimming water has caused an illness or other hazard, you may file an announcement:
- In ilppa service or
By contacting environmental health care on-call service 044 703 6700
If the symptoms are serious, please contact a doctor