Daily Archives: April 3, 2008

The straight poop on BI beaches

BeachPipe.jpg

Bainbridge Island is oozing unsafe levels of……well, poop, to put it bluntly. The Kitsap County Health District has found extremely high levels of E. coli, which is a form of fecal coliform, which is the bacteria found in human and animal feces. Read the story below.

Bainbridge beaches show fecal contamination
By Tristan Baurick

Extremely high levels of bacteria caused by human and animal waste were found along the island’s beaches, according to water quality tests conducted by the Kitsap County Health District.

At least four sites between Point White and Fletcher Bay showed E.coli bacteria levels of 15 times the permissible limit. Dozens of sites on the south end and in Eagle Harbor also showed elevated levels of E.coli, a type of fecal coliform bacteria.

“We’ve connected three failed septic systems to some of the contamination, and we expect to find more as we cover the island’s beaches,” said Stuart Whitford, a health district pollution manager. While septic systems are a likely culprit for much of the pollution, Whitford says other factors, including animal feces, can contribute to the problem.

The health district is a cautioning people to steer clear of beach drains, restrict children from playing in water near drains and to refrain from harvesting shellfish along the island’s southwest shore, Eagle Harbor and other areas with harvest restrictions.

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