Coast Guard Beach is located in the Point Higgins area north of town. (KRBD file photo)

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is warning Ketchikan residents of elevated bacteria levels in area coastal waters.

According to an announcement from the department’s Division of Water, recent testing showed high levels of bacteria in the water off Mud Bight, North and South Point Higgins, Refuge Cove, Rotary Beach and Saxman.

Contact with water containing the enterococci bacteria can cause various reactions, including stomach upset and infections.

DEC recommends that people avoid contact with the water in the listed areas, washing if you do come in contact, and rinsing seafood from those areas after harvest.

The precaution remains in effect until testing shows that bacteria levels have fallen to safe levels. The next sampling will take place this week.