Several Mass. Beaches Close Due to High Bacteria Levels

People are being asked to not swim in the closed beaches or let pets in the water until it's deemed safe.

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Friday was another good beach day before storms moved into Massachusetts, but not for everyone.

Pico Beach and Donovan's Beach in Winthrop were closed after tests found high levels of a harmful bacteria that's an indicator of fecal pollution.

While some beachgoers weren't aware or weren't deterred by the warnings, others who live nearby say better safe than sorry.

Several beaches in Massachusetts are closed because of high levels of bacteria.

"I think it's kind of a force of nature, so it is what it is," said Tony Santilli of Winthrop. "I always know that it's going to close at some time, especially with a lot of heat, a lot of rain, it will close, every year it's been closing."

The town conducts weekly water quality tests at its five beaches for levels of enterococci. When the level exceeds 104 MPN (most probable number)/100 mL, the town closes the beach.

It will be another good beach day, but not for everyone. Two beaches are closed Friday in Winthrop over concerns of high levels of harmful bacteria.

High levels of the bacteria are often caused by heavy rainfall and usually return to normal levels after a retest, town officials said. Town officials are asking people not to swim in the closed beaches or let pets in the water until it's deemed safe.

Enterococci can cause infections and people can become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat those infections, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, lakes and ponds were closed to swimmers in multiple other Massachusetts communities.

Public health and state recreation officials agree the heavy rainfall we've had over recent weeks, followed by warmer weather, is likely to blame for high bacteria levels at beaches along Lake Cochituate in Framingham, Natick and Wayland, and at Lake Massapoag in Sharon.

The algae blooms are toxic for people and can be deadly for pets. Health officials strongly advise against swimming or swallowing the water, they urge you to keep animals away, and rinse off after any contact with the water.

"It is very tough on a day like today," Meg Shields said in Framingham about her grandson, who loves to swim.

Still, Shields is happy precautions are being taken.

"I think it's a great idea to close it and to monitor it closely," she said.

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