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State to test saltwater beaches for bacteria

The state’s Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication and Health (BEACH) program will soon begin testing the state’s most popular saltwater beaches for bacteria to prevent people from getting sick from playing in the water.
That includes three Clallam County areas — Cline Spit County Park, Hollywood Beach and Salt Creek Recreation Area — along with three areas in Jefferson County: Fort Worden State Park, Irondale County Park and Herb Beck Marina.
The federally funded, state-run BEACH Program notifies the public when beaches are a health risk and educates people about ways to avoid getting sick from playing in saltwater.
Sources of bacteria on beaches include sewer overflows, discharges from unmaintained septic systems, wastewater treatment plants, sewage spills, and feces from dogs, wildlife and birds.
The program is accepting public comments about the proposed list until May 20. Send your comments to Christopher Clinton at christopher.clinton@ecy.wa.gov or call him at 360-407-6154.
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