News Flash

Public Health News

Posted on: July 2, 2021

Health Warning at Point Whitney and Irondale Beaches Due to Bacteria

20210702 Pt Whitney Irondale Warning

July 2, 2021
For Immediate Release
Jefferson County Community Health
Contact: Michael Dawson, Water Quality Manager
360-385-9444 x301

Port Townsend – High levels of fecal bacteria at Point Whitney beach in Brinnon, and Irondale beach in Port Hadlock have prompted Jefferson County Public Health to issue a health warning. Children, the elderly, and those in ill health are advised not to swim. Shellfishing is also not advised. Warning signs have been posted at public access points. Water samples taken Tuesday, June 29, and analyzed for enterococcus (a type of fecal bacteria) averaged over 600 per 100 milliliters of water at Point Whitney. The Washington BEACH program advisory level is 104. By Thursday July 1, the average had climbed to over 800. Irondale beach bacteria levels were 105 on June 29, and 276 on July 1. The cause of the high bacteria levels is under investigation.

Fecal bacteria are indicators of pathogens that can make people sick. Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses. Shellfish, being filter feeders, can concentrate contaminants from the water into their tissues. 

Jefferson County Public Health monitors local saltwater swimming beaches weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day as part of the Washington BEACH program. Jefferson county beaches will be re-sampled, and if bacteria levels decline, signage at the beach will be changed as appropriate. For questions about this and other Jefferson County beaches you can call 360-385-9444 or visit our website at jeffersoncountypublichealth.org. To find out about conditions at monitored beaches throughout Washington, see the Ecology Coastal Atlas at fortress.wa.gov/ecy/coastalatlas. For more information about the BEACH program see doh.wa.govecology.wa.gov, and epa.gov/beaches

###

Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

Other News in Public Health News

Press Releases (8)

Quilcene Bay Shellfish Advisory Removed

Posted on: October 28, 2022
PSPQuilceneBay20221003

Quilcene Bay Shellfish Closure

Posted on: October 3, 2022
DSC_8351

Oak Bay Shellfish Closure for Biotoxin

Posted on: September 16, 2022
Press Releases (2)

Discovery Bay Shellfish Closure

Posted on: June 27, 2022
Press Release Anderson Lake

Anderson Lake High in Toxin

Posted on: April 29, 2022
Jefferson County Public Health Logo

Opioid Crisis in Jefferson County

Posted on: April 11, 2022
Free tests, masks

Free home test kits, masks

Posted on: February 15, 2022
Public Health Order Update

Public Health Order Update

Posted on: February 11, 2022
February Vaccination Clinics Social Media

Vaccination Clinics in February

Posted on: January 28, 2022
Jan 29 Vaccination Clinic

Vaccination Clinics on January 29

Posted on: January 19, 2022
Care-a-Van Coming to PT

Vaccination Clinics on January 22

Posted on: January 14, 2022
January Vaccination Clinics (1)

Vaccination Clinics Set for January 8 & 15

Posted on: December 27, 2021
20211005 North Beach Sewage Outfall Break Yellow Sign

Sewage Outfall Break at North Beach

Posted on: October 5, 2021
DSC_5462

Discovery Bay Shellfish Closure

Posted on: July 14, 2021
20210513_cyanobacteria bloom tim photo credit anderson lake

ANDERSON LAKE HIGH IN TOXINS

Posted on: May 13, 2021

DISCOVERY BAY SHELLFISH CLOSURE

Posted on: April 9, 2021
20171005_HealthInsSignup

WA Healthplanfinder's Open Enrollment

Posted on: October 5, 2017
ButtonLakeClosedszd

Anderson Lake Closed Due to Toxins

Posted on: May 25, 2017
ButtonLakeClosedszd

Gibbs Lake Closed Due to Toxin

Posted on: August 17, 2017