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DHS news release

Sept. 26, 2005


Contacts: Bonnie Widerburg, DHS, (503) 731-4180

Robert Smith, Oregon Parks & Recreation, (503) 986-0665, cell (503) 551-3528

Technical contacts: Joel Sherman, DHS, (971) 673-0441

Greg Pettit, DEQ, (503) 229-5349


Health advisory lifted for water contact at Oswald West State Park beach



A health advisory for contact with marine water at Oswald West State Park beach in Tillamook County has been lifted by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.


The advisory was issued on September 21 after water samples at Oswald West State Park beach showed higher-than-normal levels of enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria, in the marine water. Subsequent testing showed the contamination had subsided and the waters did not pose a higher-than-normal risk associated with water-contact activities.


State officials encourage recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.


Water quality is monitored at selected beaches along Oregon's coast by the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program. The program is funded by a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Oregon state agencies participating in this program are the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. More detailed test results are available at the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program Web site.