FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Good news for beachgoers: The swim areas have reopened at Hammonasset Beach, Rocky Neck, and Silver Sands State Parks for the weekend, according to the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.
Those three Connecticut shoreline beaches had been closed Friday due to high bacteria counts. The water was retested, and the beaches reopened Saturday.
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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