Bacteria levels in the water off four local coastal areas remain high, according to a Friday announcement from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
Testing was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, DEC reports. The areas with elevated enterococci bacteria are Rotary Beach, also known as Bugge’s Beach; Seaport Beach near Saxman; Thomas Basin boat harbor near Creek Street; and Knudson Cove on the North End.
Five other areas tested meet water-quality criteria. Those areas are Refuge Cove, Beacon Hill, South Point Higgins Beach, Sunset Beach and Shull Beach.
DEC warns people from coming into contact with water from areas with high bacteria levels. The bacteria can cause digestive upset and infections.
DEC reports that enterococci bacteria can come from the waste of any warm-blooded animal. That includes birds, marine mammals, pets and humans. Potential sources of the bacteria listed in the announcement are wildlife and pet waste, human waste from private or municipal treatment systems, sewer line leaks, and/or boats.
DEC is conducting DNA tests on the bacteria samples to help determine the sources. Results are expected sometime next month.