The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) recommended the temporary closure of Atlantic Beach Tuesday afternoon to swimming and other activities due to high bacteria levels in the water.
The closure was the second this year for Atlantic Beach, according to the DOH website.
The recommendation was made based on results from water samples that showed high bacteria levels. The health department will continue to monitor the water quality regularly to assure safe bathing throughout the summer season, officials stated in an announcement.
Atlantic Beach typically experiences the most closures following heavy rains each summer. In 2010, the beach closed six times due to high bacteria levels. It closed eight times in 2009.
The bacteria commonly found at Atlantic Beach is linked to fecal coliform often found in city sewage. Health risks associated with the bacteria often include gastrointestinal illness, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as infections to any open cuts or wounds. According to online medical journals, other links have been drawn to various infections such as urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis.
For more information
- To check on the latest information regarding beach closings or advisories, call the Health Department Beach Hotline at 401-222-2751 or click here.
- about the efforts of Middletown and Newport to reduce stormwater pollutants into Easton's Bay.