CANNON BEACH - A health advisory for contact with marine water at Oswald West State Park beach in Tillamook County has been lifted by the Oregon Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
The advisory was issued on Oct. 22 after water sample tests at the beach showed higher than normal levels of Enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria, in the marine water. Subsequent testing showed the contamination had subsided and the waters did not pose a higher than normal risk associated with water-contact activities.
On Wednesday, Oswald West State Park beach water tests ranged from 30 to less than 10 organisms/100 milliliters of marine water. Water quality is monitored at 12 beaches along the coast under the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program, funded by a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. DHS administers the program and DEQ is responsible for the water quality testing.
Water samples are tested for Enterococcus bacteria, a microorganism that has been shown to have a greater correlation in marine waters with swimming-associated illnesses than other bacterial organisms.
Information can be obtained from the Beach Program at (503) 731-4012. Details about the program, along with complete test data, are on the Web at (www.dhs.state.or.us/publichealth/beach/index.cfm) For information about water quality testing, contact DEQ at (503) 229-5349.