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The Rhode Island Department of Health re-opened Scarborough Beach in Narragansett and Point Judith Pond last week, saying that bacteria levels in both no longer posed a health threat.

The health department also announced Tuesday that it had recommended re-opening Roy Carpenter’s Beach in South Kingstown after it was closed to swimming Friday, also for high bacteria counts.

Scarborough State Beach North re-opened to swimmers July 31 after bacteria returned to acceptable levels, the department said. The south beach was opened the following day.

Also on Aug. 1, the state re-opened Point Judith Pond to shellfishing after tests also showed bacteria at acceptable levels.

The health department and Department of Environmental Management announced the closures because water samples collected in late July had unsafe bacteria levels, likely caused by stormwater runoff from the more than three inches of rain that fell on July 22 and 23 in southern Rhode Island. RIDOH also initiated a recall of shellfish harvested either commercially or recreationally in both waterbodies since July 23.

On July 29, DEM collected water samples to test for fecal coliform bacteria in response to the emergency closures. Results from RIDOH’s laboratory analysis showed that the waters are now suitable for the harvesting of shellfish.

Shellfishing remains restricted in the waters of Point Judith Pond that are classified as prohibited or seasonally closed, the state said.

As of Tuesday, there were no Rhode Island licensed beaches under swimming advisories.

The health department said it would continue to monitor and review beach water quality regularly.

Up-to-date beach information is available at www.health.ri.gov or through a recorded message on the health department’s beaches telephone line at (401) 222-2751.


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