Plenty of contaminants lurking on beaches

Reader has other ideas about items fouling Willows Beach

Re: Willows no-dog bylaw reasons clear to resident (Letters, June 15)

I have serious doubts that it was dog feces that caused the serious illness of the writer’s children and husband on Willows Beach, as there are many more likely candidates.

What she described sounded more like food poisoning (salmonella), which comes from bacteria build-up in improperly cooked food or food left out in the sun. Another source could be ducks, geese or seagulls, as their droppings are everywhere, and wild fowl are known to be carriers of certain deadly viruses which could also cause these severe symptoms. Remember the bird flu scare?

Plus, drunk people have been known to urinate and defecate on the beach. Some boaters illegally dump the contents of their caustic chemical toilets over the side, instead of disposing of them properly. The contaminants wash up on the sand and can cause burns to the feet and poisoning.  No beach in the world is totally uncontaminated. We just have to use a bit of common sense to protect ourselves.

Willows Beach is a wonderful place to spend a day and our four-legged friends should be able to enjoy it too.

Rosemary Schneider

Oak Bay