The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an advisory for several beaches in Ketchikan due to elevated enterococci and fecal coliform levels.

Water samples were collected Monday at 12 beaches, but only five showed elevated levels. They include:

  • Shull Road
  • Refuge Cove Beach
  • Thomas Basin
  • Rotary Pool, also known as Bugges Beach
  • Mountain Point

According to a press release sent Thursday, DEC recommends people take precautionary measures in these areas and avoid swimming in the water. If people catch fish, they should make sure to wash them in clean water and cook the seafood to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy any pathogens. 

The sampling was part of a statewide monitoring program to evaluate fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria levels at recreational beaches from May to September. 

Potential causes of the bacteria on Ketchikan beaches may include wildlife and pet feces, human waste from treatment systems, sewer line leakage or boats in the harbor areas, according to the DEC.

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