A public health advisory warning against contact with the water at Harris Beach has again been lifted after water samples showed fecal contamination had subsided, the Oregon Health Authority announced this afternoon.
The health advisory was issued July 24 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters at Harris Beach, which is in Curry County.
Results from subsequent samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality showed the water there no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk associated with water contact. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools and runoff from water frequented by birds, because this can be an indication of increased bacteria from fecal matter.
This the second time this summer Harris Beach has had a public health advisory. The first occurred July 1 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria at the east end of Goat Island. That advisory was lifted July 12.
Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria.
For more information, contact the Beach Monitoring Program at 971-673-0400 or www.healthoregon.org/beach; also contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767.