The swimming beach at Island Lake County Park in Central Kitsap has been temporarily closed because of high levels of E. coli bacteria in the water.
The Kitsap Public Health District issued an advisory on Thursday warning residents to avoid all contact with the water at the beach until further notice, including swimming, wading and other types of water play.
The health district said it will continue to monitor the waters and reopen the beach when E. coli levels return to a safe level for human contact. No illnesses had been reported to Kitsap Public Health as of Thursday.
High levels of E. coli bacteria can be caused by a variety of factors, including wildlife and pets in the water, people swimming when they are sick with diarrhea, a large number of swimmers, infants swimming without swim diapers, and people entering the water without showering.
Kitsap Lake in West Bremerton and Long Lake in Port Orchard also have no-contact advisories in place because of toxic cyanobacteria, known as blue-green algae, found earlier this summer.
Kitsap Public Health monitors 34 water swimming areas during the summer months for bacteria levels, safety concerns and toxic cyanobacteria. Health officials say people should report possible water issues online or by calling 360-728-2235 if people or pets become sick after being in the water, or if you see an algae bloom or large numbers of dead fish.
Austen Macalus is the Kitsap Sun’s social services reporter — covering health care, homelessness and how programs are serving those in need. He can be reached at [email protected] or 360-536-6423.
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This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: E. coli closes Island Lake beach ahead of the holiday weekend