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Swim Areas Remain Closed At Several Connecticut State Parks

Silver Sands State Park in Milford
Silver Sands State Park in Milford Photo Credit: State Of Connecticut

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Connecticut residents who hope to go swimming at a state park — as we head into one of the last weekends of summer — may be in for a disappointment.

Three of Connecticut's shoreline beaches were still closed Friday due to high bacteria counts, and the swim areas were closed at four inland parks as well, the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection announced.

The swim areas at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, and the eastern portion of Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme are closed due to test results showing high bacteria counts in the water.

The waters were retested Friday, with results due before noon Saturday, DEEP said in a statement.

Retesting is typically not done until Monday, but given that three shoreline parks were closed DEEP decided to do the retests before the weekend.

The swim area at Indian Well State Park in Shelton reopened earlier this week, only to be closed down again Thursday, DEEP said.

The latest water quality report for state park beaches shows the presence of toxic blue green algae in the water at both Indian Well State Park and Kettletown State Park in Southbury. Swim areas at both parks were closed Thursday and remained closed on Friday.

"These swim areas will remain closed until that condition subsides," DEEP said in a statement.

The swim areas at Gardner Lake State Park in Salem and Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield are also closed, due to test results showing high bacteria counts, DEEP said. Both locations will be retested Aug. 30, with results due Aug. 31.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally in lakes and ponds throughout Connecticut. The microscopic organisms often go unnoticed and cause no harm.

However, when nutrient loading exceeds certain levels, a pond or lake can experience nuisance blue-green algae blooms that may produce and release toxins.

During a bloom the following conditions may be seen:

  • The water may be cloudy or even thick like pea soup.
  • It may look like someone spilled paint on the water.
  • The water will likely be green or brown.
  • There may be a mat of algae, scum or foaming on the water surface.

Click here for further information on blue green algae.

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