Kenai Health Alert
The following came out yesterday from ADF&G and DEC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2010
CONTACT: Nancy Sonafrank, DEC Water Division program manager,
(907) 451-2726; email@example.com
Elevated Levels of Enterococci Bacteria Found at North Kenai Beach
(Anchorage, Alaska) – Recent water quality samples collected at North Kenai Beach indicate elevated levels of enterococci bacteria in the water. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is collecting the samples this summer to determine if the water is safe for recreation.
Contact with water that has high levels of enterococci may cause people to have stomach aches, diarrhea, or ear, eye and skin infections.
DEC suggests that beach users take normal precautions to avoid exposure, such as avoiding drinking or swimming in the water; washing after contact with the water, and rinsing fish harvested from the area with clean water. As always, people should cook seafood to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature to destroy pathogens.
North Kenai Beach is located at the end of Spruce Street in the City of Kenai. Water quality samples were collected July 8-11. DEC continues to monitor water quality. If bacteria levels increase significantly, the City of Kenai may post advisory signs at the beach until additional sampling indicates that enterococci bacteria numbers have dropped to safe levels.
Enterococci bacteria can come from any warm blooded animal including birds, seals, and humans. The reason for the currently elevated levels is unknown. The city has installed portable restrooms in areas of high beach use to control human waste. The nearby Kenai Sewage Treatment facility is not a contributing factor since it operates consistently within stringent permit limits.
The beach sampling program is being funded and implemented by DEC with cooperation of the City of Kenai. It is part of a nationwide effort to decrease the incidence of water-borne illness at public beaches under the federal BEACH Act.
If those samples were from prior to the start of dipnetting, I guarantee they are only getting worse with the massive dipnetting zoo that is in progress right now. Any idea when the next sample collection is going to be?
Thanks for posting this vital info. As soaked as we have been getting......
Good to know thanks! I have dipped the north bank for more than 20 years and over the years have seen some pretty crazy ways that people deal with their fish there. This Friday I will say that i may have seen the best one yet. This couple with only a black snow sled no cooler was heading and gutting their fish washing it in the water than putting it in the sled and packing the fish with sand from the beach.
I really wanted the ask them what they where doing that for. I guess they think it was going to cool it down.
Maybe it's time that someone will have to teach these new city folks to our state how to take care of their meat and posting this on the beach might be needed. Some folks have stupid they haven't used yet!
Sampling has been happening every morning for the past few days. It takes a couple days to results back. Its a fine line to inform the public without creating a sense of panic. At least the state is taking some proactive action, asking questions and doing some monitoring. Its actually kinda amazing and I say very good.
Originally Posted by JOAT