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Planning on going swimming at the beach this summer? Be sure to keep an eye on local beach closings. The numbers are in and some Rhode Island recreational swimming waters may not be your first choice.
According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rhode Islandâ€™s beach water quality is on the rocks, ranking 25 out of 30 states. The report is based on a new metric for determining bacteria levels in beach water, a recently updated Beach Action Value (BAV) which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is â€śa more protective threshold than the national allowable bacteria levels used in previous years to trigger beach advisories.â€ť
The data is drawn from 237 coastal beaches and only 69 of them are monitored. Roughly 16 percent of all samples taken from the participating beaches exceeded the BAV of 60 enterococcus bacteria colony forming units (cfu) for every 100 ml of marine or estuarine water per sample. Among the worst in the state for bacteria levels exceeding the threshold were Oakland Beach with 41 percent exceedance, Fogland Beach at 37 percent, Conimicut Point at 35 percent, Hazard Beach at 33 percent, and Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett at 28 percent.
For more of this story pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.