Port Townsend – High levels of fecal bacteria at Quilcene Beach, 1731 Linger Longer Road, have prompted Jefferson County Public Health to issue a health advisory and post a closed sign at the beach. Samples taken Wednesday, July 18, and analyzed for enterococcus (a type of fecal bacteria) averaged over 600 per 100 milliliters of water. The Washington BEACH program closure level is 276. The public is urged not to swim or wade and to avoid contact with the water at Quilcene Beach, also known as Herb Beck Marina Beach.
Fecal bacteria are indicators of pathogens that can make people sick. 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.
Jefferson County Public Health monitors local saltwater swimming beaches weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day as part of the Washington BEACH program. Quilcene Beach will be re-sampled, and if bacteria levels decline, signage at the beach will be changed as appropriate. For questions about this and other Jefferson County beaches you can call 360-385-9444 or visit our website at jeffersoncountypublichealth.org. To find out about conditions at monitored beaches throughout Washington, see the Ecology Coastal Atlas at fortress.wa.gov/ecy/coastalatlas. For more information about the BEACH program see doh.wa.gov, ecology.wa.gov, and epa.gov/beaches.
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community