Advisory lifted for Cannon Beach, 2 others

Cannon Beach
This March 16, 2011 photo shows a wave coming ashore in Cannon Beach, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A higher-than-normal bacteria level advisory for Cannon, Tolovan and Short Sand beaches was lifted late Thursday afternoon, about one day after health officials issued the advisory.

On Wednesday, health officials said they detected higher-than-normal bacteria levels in the Pacific Ocean off those three beaches. Cannon and Tolovana beaches are in Clatsop County; Short Sand Beach is in Tillamook County.

“Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria,” according to the Oregon Health Authority advisory issued Wednesday.

But in a release Thursday, officials said, “Testing shows fecal bacteria levels have subsided.”

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Increased fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters “can come from both shore and inland sources, such as storm water runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems and even animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife,” the health authority reported.

Though state officials discouraged water contact, they continued to encourage other recreational activities on these beaches “because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.” Neighboring beaches were not affected by this advisory.

Health officials said those heading to the beach should wash their hands with soapy water to help avoid the risk of getting sick.

In late June, public health advisories were issued for the Seaside and Cannon after water samples also found higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria. That advisory was lifted shortly after it was issued.

In this latest advisory, more water samples will be done by Thursday afternoon. If those samples come back clean, health officials told KOIN 6 News it’s likely the advisory would be lifted before the Labor Day weekend.

– KOIN Reporter Kohr Harlan contributed information used in this KOIN.com report.

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