5 state park beaches closed to swimmers

- FILE - Silver Sands State Park in Milford (WTNH)

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– DEEP officials have closed five state park beaches to swimmers on Tuesday.

The following state parks are closed due to the water quality:

– Silver Sands State Park in Milford
– Indian Well State Park in Shelton
– Kettletown State Park in Southbury
– Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield
– Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford

According to DEEP, the water in these areas tested positive for indicator bacteria. DEEP explains that indicator bacteria are not disease causing pathogens but tools used to evaluate the potential for contamination of water-bodies.

The water quality of state parks is tested by DEEP to ensure it’s safe for swimming. The samples are collected and then analyzed at the Department of Public Health Lab. Municipal swimming areas are sampled by local health departments.

At Silver Sands State Park in Milford the warnings didn’t get posted until some swimmers had been in the water for several hours.

“We came here about 9 o’clock this morning for our last beach day of the summer. We were enjoying ourselves up until about ten minutes ago,” said Aimee Nieves of Naugatuck.

Nieves found out from News 8 about the water quality issues. As she was chatting with our reporter A State Park employee made their way onto the beach to begin spreading the word with a bullhorn.

“We have five small children, four small children with us one being a six month old infant so very upset about this. I’m worries that the children are gonna get sick and I thin there should have been further action taken to notify everybody,” said Nieves.

DEEP says they make every effort to spread the word as quickly as possible but one worker is currently serving three state parks. They want swimmers to know that while extreme levels of bacteria may cause flu like symptoms, the Department errs on the side of caution and never lets it get to that point.

“People who were in the water, they should just be sure to shower and wash up thoroughly when they get home. The standard is so protective if they were in there for awhile they’r gonna be fine as long as they get home and clean up,” said Dennis Schain with DEEP.

Still, the warning came too late for many swimmers to feel comfortable about.

“Somehow or another when a beach is closed I think it is the responsibility of the parks department to have personnel, staff, volunteers, anybody walk the beach and inform each person that is on the beach already,” said Lisa Sabbatino of Suffield.

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