Thirteen beaches in Long Island, New York, have been closed for health concerns. The New York Daily News reports that health officials have closed these beaches for swimming due to high bacteria levels. Nassau County health officials ordered 10 North Shore beaches and one on the South Shore closed Saturday. In Suffolk County, two beaches at Heckscher State Park in East Islip are also closed to swimming because of unacceptable water quality.
Bacteria levels are high due to recent stormy weather. Officials cited the heavy rains that generate storm-water runoff. The storm runoff can sweep bacteria and pathogens into local streams and bays, causing bacterial levels to spike. Additionally, for the beaches that are open, Hurricane Arthur may be causing unsafe swimming conditions with potentially dangerous rip tides.
EHA Consulting Group highlights some of the communicable diseases that one can contract from public swimming areas. These include Shigellosis, an acute bacterial disease; E. Coli, which presents like severe diarrhea; and hepatitis A, which is most common after rainwater runoff.
For individuals visiting or living on Long Island, county health officials can offer more information on closings. The Nassau County website provides a number that can be called for up-to-date recorded information on beach closings and openings. Additionally, there are webpages for a variety of parks and outdoor activity centers. If a beach is closed, there may be other outdoor activities that are available nearby.