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All Scituate beaches open after testing comes back normal

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  June 28, 2012 05:57 PM

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All beaches were open in Scituate on Thursday after tests for bacteria came back below normal.

Peggotty beach and Sand Hills beaches were closed on Wednesday after tests for colony forming units (or "cfu's") of bacteria, done on Tuesday, showed counts over the 104 cfus per 100 milliliter requirement.

Peggotty had 160 cfus per 100 ml. Sand Hills was closed with a high count of 650 cfus per 100 ml.

Retesting, done on Wednesday, came back with normal results today. Sand Hills had a count of 10 cfus per 100 ml, and Peggotty had a count below 10 cfus per 100 ml.

According to the town website, beaches are tested weekly during swim season, from June through Labor Day. Beaches are tested more frequently when tests come back higher than normal.

Testing is typically looking for bacteria called an enterococci, which is an indicator for contamination.

Although enterococci are bacteria found in intestines, they are typically found in fecal matter as well.

Scituate Health officials suspect that Sand Hill’s count was so high due to significant outfalls near the beach.

Peggotty might have been high due to seaweed conditions.

Although the counts were above normal, they are by no means the worst either beach has seen.

In Sand Hills, counts got as high as 2,723 cfu/100 ml in August of last year. Egypt Beach and Minot both had counts at 1,722 and 1,401, respectively.

For more history and for updates on beach closing, check the town website.

To view testing results at other beaches in the South Shore, click here.

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