Today’s news:

Douglas Manor Beach closed due to high levels of bacteria

Douglas Manor Beach has been closed since the end of June due to a high Enterococci bacteria count, according to the city Department of Health.

The private beach, at the end of Beverly Road, was closed July 29 and will remain closed until the DOH has collected clean water samples from the location, a representative for the department said.

The beach is sampled on a weekly basis throughout the bathing season, and this counts the fourth time this season the DOH has closed the beach, the representative said.

The beach had been closed from May 28 to June 2, June 5 to 29 and July 14 to 19.

The DOH representative said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has conducted studies and found that Enterococci levels determine beach water quality and are useful in predicting the presence of pathogens that cause illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach aches, coughs, sore throats, runny noses, ear infections, eye irritations and skin rashes.

The department believes that frequent closures are the result of failing septic systems in the area.

Two years ago, on July 29, the National Resources Defense Council released its annual study that reviews bacteria counts at beaches across the country. The study found that Douglas Manor was among the city’s three most-polluted swimming sites.

This year, the NRDC’s report said the beach exceeded the state’s daily maximum bacteria standards 25 percent of the time it was tested in 2010.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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