FRAMINGHAM — All three of the City of Framingham’s public beaches have been closed for swimming for half the month of July.
All three beaches are still closed and will be closed until at least Monday, August 2.
On July 20, tests indicated elevated E.coli bacteria counts at Learned Pond beach and Lake Waushakum beach, which has a gate around it prohibiting access
Lake Waushakum beach has been closed since opening day on June 17. It have never opened this season.
The beaches were tested again on July 21, July 26, and July 28, and again the beacteria was too high to re-open the beaches for swimming.
The beaches are open for sunbathing, while staff is present, but no one is allowed in the water.
The most common symptoms of exposure to e coli bacteria while swimming are general gastrointestinal discomfort and skin rashes. Other may also experience sore throat, earache, skin rash, or fever.
Pollution in beach water is often associated with human or animal waste, which may enter the water in a variety of ways, including:
- stormwater runoff
- leaking sewer pipes
- combined sewer overflows (a release of untreated sewage with rainwater)
- illegal sewer hookups
- poorly functioning septic systems
- discharge of sewage by boats
- pet waste
Beach managers may take steps to deter waterfowl. Planting tall grasses, building geese fences, and raking sand to remove feces and expose bacteria to sunlight so it dies off before reaching the water will deter waterfowl.