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WATER QUALITY E. coli closes New Castle beach to swimmers

Portsmouth Herald - 8/30/2017

NEW CASTLE - The state Department of Environmental Services has issued an advisory for the town beach noting E. coli bacterial levels are high and the water is unsafe for swimming.

David Neils, spokesman for the DES, said the water at the beach was sampled Wednesday and results on Thursday showed levels of fecal bacteria high enough to issue a no-swimming warning.

Neils said the town was notified and yellow signs went up advising of the warning.

He said state officials do not know the source of the E. coli bacteria and it is "impossible to tell."

Escherichia coli, abbreviated as E. coli, are bacteria found in the environment, foods and intestines of people and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make people sick.

Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses, the CDC states.

Neils said the water was re-sampled Friday and the results will likely be available Saturday, but the DES website will not be updated over the weekend.

He said town officials will be notified and if beach-goers see the yellow warning signs, they should not swim in the water. If the signs are removed, he said, that means the levels have returned to safe.

 
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