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18 beaches in Massachusetts closed due to high bacterial contamination
18 beaches in Massachusetts closed due to high bacterial contamination

IN MASSACHUSETTS – A total of 18 beaches in Massachusetts are closed to swimming on Friday due to high bacteria levels, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Health.

Just before Memorial Day weekend, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation opened 81 freshwater and saltwater beaches for the season. But the fun was quickly over the following weekend when many beaches closed again.

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The number of closed beaches fluctuated more or less in the following weeks, but remained consistently high this week.

Here are the beaches that have been closed to swimming since Friday afternoon due to unsafe bacteria levels.

ASHBY, MA

Damon Pond Beach

ASHLAND, MA

Hopkinton Reservoir Main Beach

BOSTON, MA

Tenean

CLARKSBURG, MA

Mausert’s Pond

FRAMINGHAM, MA

Waushakum Beach

GARDNER, MA

Dunn Pond

LYNN, MA

Kings

MILTON, MA

Houghton’s Pond @ Bathhouse

SALEM, MA

Children’s Island – Back

Templeton, Massachusetts

Beamans Pond – Campsite

Beamans Pond – Day Use

WINCHESTER, MA

Shannon Beach @ Upper Mystic

Due to the harmful cyanobacteria bloom, the following beaches are closed to swimming:

MASHPEE, MA

Attaquin Park (Mashpee-Wakeby Pond)

NANTUCKET, MA

Miacomet Pond

ORLEANS, MA

Pilgrim Lake

And these beaches are closed for an unlisted reason:

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA

Lake Mansfield

CONCORD, MA

Walden Pond – Red Cross

SALEM, MA

Camp Naumkeag

See also: Summer heat brings lots of fun, danger warnings after MA

“When beaches close, elevated bacteria levels are generally the result of a previous rainstorm that caused the closure,” a representative from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health told Patch earlier this month. “This is because the rain washes the bacteria or excess nutrients from the land into the water, and the nutrients allow small bacterial populations to quickly multiply to dangerous levels.”

See also: MA sets opening date for DCR pools: 2024 bathing season

The frequency of water testing at the state’s beaches varies from beach to beach. Testing occurs anywhere from daily to monthly, depending on the beach, officials said. They added that the frequency of testing depends on how likely the beach is to experience water quality problems.

Beaches with high bacteria levels will reopen for swimming if a test result indicates bacteria levels below DPH standards.

According to DPH, swimming in unsafe waters can cause illness with the following symptoms:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain
  • Respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, cough, runny nose and sneezing
  • Dermatological symptoms such as rash and itching
  • Eye and ear symptoms such as irritation, ear pain and itching
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills

Most of these symptoms are minor, but more serious illness can occasionally occur, authorities said. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk.

Also on Patch:

By Aurora