[CREDIT: RIDOH]    The state has recommended that Camp Hoffman and Camp Kingston beaches be closed to swimming due to high bacteria levels.
[CREDIT: RIDOH] The state has recommended that Camp Hoffman and Camp Kingston beaches be closed to swimming due to high bacteria levels.

SOUTH COUNTY – The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends closing Camp Hoffman Beach in South Kingston and Camp beaches in Kingston closed to swimming due to high levels of bacteria.

According to the RI Department of Health website, beach closures are based on the concentration of Enterocci bacteria in beach water samples measured in cfu/100ml (colony forming units per 100 millilitres).

The EPA explains that enterococci live in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals, including humans, and indicate possible contamination from fecal waste.

The EPA explains that enterococci live in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals, including humans, and indicate possible contamination from fecal waste.

Enterococci can enter local waters from “wastewater treatment plant effluent, septic tank leaks, storm water runoff, sewage discharged or dumped from recreational boats, pet waste and wildlife, improper spreading of manure or sewage and runoff from manure storage areas, pastures, rangelands and feedlots. There are also natural non-faecal sources of faecal indicator bacteria, including plants, sand, soil and sediment, which contribute to some background level in ambient waters and vary with local environmental and weather conditions,” reports the EPA.

To check the status of the beaches, use the Beach Viewer map. This map also reflects the most up-to-date information on the status of water quality at Rhode Island’s licensed beaches.

RIDOH will continue to regularly monitor and review beach water quality to ensure safe swimming throughout the summer season. The status of a range may change as new data becomes available. The most up-to-date beach information is available via a recorded message on the RIDOH Beaches Hotline (401-222-2751). A list of closed beaches is also available at health.ri.gov.

RIDOH officials will continue to monitor and review beach water quality through Labor Day. The status of a range may change as new data becomes available. The most up-to-date beach information is available via a recorded message on the RIDOH Beaches Hotline (401-222-2751). A list of closed beaches is also available at health.ri.gov.