Health advisory lifted at Harris Beach

A public health advisory warning against water contact at Harris Beach was lifted Friday by the Oregon Health Authority, according to a news release.

The advisory was issued July 1 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria at the east end of Goat Island in Curry County.

Recent samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality showed bacteria levels had subsided and the water no longer posed a higher-than-normal risk, the release said.

But officials recommendeded staying out of large pools and runoff from water frequented by birds, whose waste was believed to be the source of the contamination.

The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program monitors the waters along Oregon's coastline for the presence of fecal bacteria annually from Labor Day through Memorial Day.

Marine waters are tested for enterococcus, which is an indicator of the presence of other bacteria. Enterococcus is present in human and animal waste.

Fecal bacteria can cause anything from diarrhea and stomach cramps to skin rashes or no reaction at all, but it is the largest threat to the elderly, children and those more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Harris Beach marked the third such advisory against water-contact at an Oregon beach this summer. Advisories were issued, then lifted, last month at Cannon Beach and Seaside beaches.

For more information, contact the Beach Monitoring Program at 971-673-0400 or; also contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767.

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