Grab the sand toys: Beach advisories don't close beaches.Byline: Winston Ross The Register-Guard
FLORENCE - Of more than 1,500 samples of ocean water taken along the Oregon Coast in the past year, less than 50 fall below safety standards, state health officials say.
Nevertheless, residents, businesses and tourists routinely misunderstand the state's year-old beach water quality testing program and call various state offices with questions.
"People have heard about the advisories and gotten an overstated o·ver·state
tr.v. o·ver·stat·ed, o·ver·stat·ing, o·ver·states
To state in exaggerated terms. See Synonyms at exaggerate.
o impression of what the risks were," said Greg Pettit, watershed assessment manager with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. "A lot of people think the beaches are closed." The DEQ DEQ
Abbreviation for the Incoterm "Delivered Ex Quay." administers the program with the Department of Human Services.
The state wants to clear up the confusion.
Most important to know: Advisories don't close the beach, Pettit said. They don't even apply to the beach, unless an activity could somehow lead to the ingestion ingestion /in·ges·tion/ (-chun) the taking of food, drugs, etc., into the body by mouth.
1. The act of taking food and drink into the body by the mouth.
2. of ocean water. That means no restrictions on kite flying, bird watching or sand castle making, among other things.
Actually, the advisories don't restrict anything. They're designed simply to notify the public that samples taken from a certain section of the ocean tested below water quality standards, indicating a higher presence of fecal coliform bacteria coliform bacteria
Rod-shaped bacteria usually found in the intestinal tracts of animals, including humans. Coliform bacteria do not require but can use oxygen, and they do not form spores. They produce acid and gas from the fermentation of lactose sugar. .
If enough contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object. water is ingested in·gest
tr.v. in·gest·ed, in·gest·ing, in·gests
1. To take into the body by the mouth for digestion or absorption. See Synonyms at eat.
2. , that could lead to a range of problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, chills and fever Noun 1. chills and fever - successive stages of chills and fever that is a symptom of malaria
malaria - an infective disease caused by sporozoan parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito; marked by paroxysms of , skin rashes and infections of the eyes, ears, nose and throat. But these are rare occurrences, Pettit said.
Since most of the beaches showed few if any spikes in bacteria, the state has reduced the number of beaches it will test in the coming year from 52 to 19. It also will reduce the frequency of testing from weekly to bi-monthly or monthly at some beaches.
There are no beach advisories in effect, Pettit said. Most problems occur during periods of heavy rainfall.
Winston Ross can be reached at (541) 902-9030 or rgcoast@ oregonfast.net.