February 9, 2011
On one of the busiest weekends in Monterey, Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove has been posted with an advisory due to high indicator bacteria found in samples taken Wednesday, according to Monterey County Environmental Health.
While the beach remains open to the public, according to state guidelines, it must remain posted until the bacteria level returns to normal, says Peggy Harris, Principal Assistant at the Monterey County Environmental Health office. Normal levels are 104; according to Harris, this morning's bacteria level was at 215.
"It's only an advisory," she says. "We've retested since then and hopefully we'll get the results back tomorrow and the level will have lowered. We keep testing until it returns to the standard." A level of 104 is considered to be safe for recreational water contact.
Higher levels of bacteria can result from marine life, rainfall runoff, storm drains and human activity, and have been associated with the increased risk of illness.