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Advisories issued against swimming at 12 beaches in Suffolk County

A file photo of Corey Beach in Blue

A file photo of Corey Beach in Blue Point, among the beaches where advisories were issued against swimming. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Suffolk County announced Friday that a dozen beaches were closed due to unsafe levels of bacteria in the water.

They include Benjamins Beach in Bay Shore, West Islip Beach in West Islip, Amityville Village Beach in Amityville, Tanner Park Beach in Copiague, Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst, Sound Beach POA East and West in Sound Beach, and Broadway Beach, Friendship Drive Beach, Beech Road Beach, Terraces on the Sound and Tides Beach POA, all in Rocky Point.

Bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, said Suffolk Commissioner of Health Gregson Pigott.

The beaches will reopen when tests reveals that bacteria have subsided to acceptable levels.

On Thursday, swimming was not advised at 82 of the Island's beaches because what was left of the devastating storm called Ida could have polluted them by releasing fecal bacteria into the stormwater, officials said then.

And five days before, a total of 81 beaches were on that list of precautionary advisories, also after a heavy rain.

Ida also caused 24 of New York City’s water treatment plants to discharge sewage mixed with rainwater as of midday Thursday, its environmental protection agency said. This problem is one of the main causes of the low oxygen levels seen in western Long Island Sound, scientists say.

Around 70% of Suffolk lacks sewers, and stormwater runoff — which occurs when the ground cannot absorb all the rainwater — carries effluents from leaking cesspools and septic systems, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and debris into sewers, increasing bacteria levels. Animal waste can be another key source.

For the latest information on Suffolk's affected beaches, call the beach hotline at 631-852-5822, contact the department's Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 during normal business hours, or visit Suffolk County Department of Health Services' beach monitoring webpage.

In Nassau, for up-to-date recorded information on beach openings and closings, call 516-227-9700.

A state interactive map of beach closures and advisories can be found at ny.healthinspections.us/ny_beaches/.

With Robert Brodsky

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