Shoreline
8:48 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 In Water Quality

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

"In Connecticut, the issue of beach closings as a result of bacteria levels is not from wastewater or sewage treatment by and large That is an infrequent occurrence." 

Last summer, Fairfield's Pear Tree Point Beach and Sea Bluff Beach in West Haven each saw bacteria levels at 28 percent above set standards, the NRDC reports. While bacteria levels are monitored weekly, those beaches were closed or under advisory for three and seven days last year.

"Connecticut, like many other states suffers from heavy bacteria at beaches at times when there has been heavy rain fall," said Larry Levine, a senior attorney with the NRDC. 

DEEP maintains 23 state park beaches and examines samples weekly at a state lab. The state closes those beaches for swimming when the levels pose a health threat, Schain said.