GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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August 30, 2013

Black Beach reopens to swimming

MANCHESTER — Just in time for September, Black Beach opened to swimming again Thursday after being closed last week due to high levels of bacteria.

The cause of the closure was not because bacteria levels surpassed the state maximum of 104 colony forming units — or lifeforms — in a certain amount of water, but because the beach did not meet the geomean average, which spans the testing season.

Although the beach tested with 223 units of bacteria last week, the beach passed another test last week as well as one on Tuesday.

Despite the water testing in low numbers of bacteria, the tests were above the geoman average of 35 units, measuring 35.5 lifeforms per 100 milliliters of water, according to the Board of Health.

Officials will be looking at possible causes, which could include rain levels, septic systems in the area, boaters and water quality in the marsh.

“There are a lot of things that can contribute,” Board of Health administrative assistant Ellen Lufkin said.

This is the last week of weekly water testing in Manchester.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000 x 3455 or jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.

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