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Minot Beach closed due to bacteria levels

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 3, 2013 02:55 PM

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Though July 3 and 4 are typically big beach days for Scituate, residents along Minot will have to swim elsewhere this week.

Minot Beach has been closed after testing showed abnormally high counts of bacteria in the water.

According to the town website, the beach had 420 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters of water. Beaches that receive readings higher than 104 cfu/100 ml are closed.

Scitaute's Board of Health director, Jennifer Sullivan, said the high bacteria count was probably caused by the runoff of rain, and that results of a retest would be in by Thursday afternoon.

Minot had slightly elevated levels of bacteria the week of June 25 as well, but at 31 cfu/ml was still well under the maxiumum threshold.

Typically, beaches are tested for bacteria named enterococci, an indicator of contamination. Although enterococci is a bacteria found in intestines, they are typically found in fecal matter as well.

“High levels of enterococci at the beach indicate the waters may also contain other disease-causing microbes that are present in sewage but are more difficult to detect,” said the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s website.

All other Scituate beaches, including Humarock, Peggotty, Lighthouse, Sand Hills, and Egypt were open as testing showed levels of 20 cfu/ml and under.

Members of the public can swim at their own risk, even though the waters are closed.

Beaches are tested weekly from June through Labor Day. When beaches have a high bacteria count, subsequent tests are done the following days until results come back clean.

For updated sample numbers, click here.

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