Pither’s Point beach may re-open soon

Some positive lab tests have come back indicating the water at Pither’s Point beach is now safe but local health officials will hold off on opening it to swimmers until more tests come back just to be certain.
“We got back results from Friday and they were all right and Monday’s were all right, and those were the extensive tests,” Dave Coats, a health inspector with the Northwestern Health Unit here, said Thursday.
About 45 samples were taken along the shoreline Monday to determine why an unusually high count of E. coli was in the water off of Pither’s Point.
The samples–taken 10 feet off shore, 150 feet of shore, and in the middle of the bay–came back clean, puzzling health inspectors who were trying to pin down the source of the high bacteria count.
“At this point, we don’t really know why it was so high,” said Coats.
Although a beach usually is re-opened after two consecutive tests come back clean, the health unit will wait until tests from Tuesday and Wednesday come back. If they prove the water is safe, the beach then will be re-opened.
“We should have those results back today and tomorrow,” said Coats.
After being closed for a week, the beach re-opened last Thursday, only to close again Friday when the high bacteria count re-appeared.
E. coli can cause skin infections and ear, nose, and mouth infections. If ingested, it can cause severe ’flu-like symptoms.