NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management are trying to determine the source of high bacteria levels at Scarborough Beach.
In the meantime, the health department said it’s recommending closing the beach – both North and South – to swimming until further notice.
Prior to the closure, the health department reported all previously closed beaches were reopened to swimming across the state.
New grant money could potentially help out with the lengthy process.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the Department of Health $200,000 to ensure safe water quality at beaches statewide. The federal grant is part of more than $1 million that the agency awarded five New England states to help improve beach programs.
Sometimes, state officials close local beaches after rainstorms due to the potential of storm runoff dragging in pollutants from streets, parking lots and other areas. This means water could contain trash or other waste.
According to EPA officials, testing in shallow waters is necessary.
“Right after we get into the water, to make sure that children are safe. Because they are the ones that are probably ingesting most of the water, right, when you are at the beach,” said Deb Szaro, the EPA New England acting Regional Administrator.
The most up-to-date beach information is available online or through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751).
Eyewitness News will keep you updated on-line at WPRI.com and on air throughout the day.