Friday, July 30, 2010

Fecal Matters: High Bacteria Levels at Silverdale Waterfront Park

BEACH Program Update
Water quality monitoring this week at Silverdale Waterfront Park (Kitsap County) showed elevated bacteria levels. The beach will be resampled today and results will be available Saturday. Because bacteria levels usually quickly return to normal levels the beach will remain open to swimming pending resampling.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in marine waters can come from both shore and inland sources. Inland sources can consist of stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems and even animal waste from livestock, pets, and wildlife. Shore sources can consist of swimmers, boats, marine mammals, birds, and other wildlife. We often observe high bacteria results following rain events. In general, the BEACH Program recommends avoiding contact with marine waters 48 hours following rainfall.

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

Visit the BEACH Map to see beach closures across the coast and sound. Surf the web before you surf the beach!

Jessica Bennett is the BEACH Data Manager.
She is available at 360-407-6159 or for questions.

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