Ronkonkoma Beach is closed to bathing Thursday because of elevated bacteria levels, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced.

“Bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat,” Suffolk health officials warned in the statement. “The beach will reopen when further testing reveals that the bacteria have subsided to acceptable levels.”

Most of Suffolk's 190 beaches are tested at least weekly as part of the bathing beach water quality monitoring program which the county health department conducts from May through September, according to the county's website.

The program measures beach water quality with levels of “indicator organisms,” which provide an estimate of fecal contamination and are usually introduced through stormwater runoff.

Ronkonkoma Beach was closed in late May due to stormwater runoff. 

The county recommends avoiding swimming in its beaches, especially at poorly flushed bays and harbors, for at least 24 hours after a heavy rainfall.

Suffolk's Department of Health Services was not immediately available for further comment.

For the latest information on beach closings, residents can call the bathing beach hotline at 631-852-5822 or contact the Department's Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 on weekdays.

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