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Eighteen Massachusetts beaches abruptly closed due to ‘dangerous’ amount of bacteria in water

Nearly 20 beaches in Massachusetts have been closed due to excessive bacteria in the water, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

A report from DPH’s interactive beach water quality dashboard released Tuesday found that 16 beaches were unsafe for swimming due to high levels of bacteria, exceeding acceptable limits.

The dashboard is updated twice a day, at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Two other beaches were also closed due to harmful algae blooms or other unspecified reasons.

“(The dashboard) will tell you which beaches are open or closed,” says the dashboard, maintained by Mass.gov. “If a beach is closed, do not swim or enter the water at that location to avoid the risk of illness.”

Nearly 20 beaches in Massachusetts have been closed due to excessive bacteria in the water, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

Nearly 20 beaches in Massachusetts have been closed due to excessive bacteria in the water, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

A report from DPH's interactive beach water quality dashboard found that 16 beaches were unsafe for swimming due to high levels of bacteria, exceeding acceptable limits.

A report from DPH’s interactive beach water quality dashboard found that 16 beaches were unsafe for swimming due to high levels of bacteria, exceeding acceptable limits.

Among the closed beaches are popular spots like Lynn Shore Beach, Wollaston Beach in Quincy and Hopkinton Reservoir in Ashland.

The DPH warned that swimming in these “dangerous waters” could lead to health problems, including illnesses related to digestion, breathing, skin and even flu-like symptoms.

The closures come a little more than a week after the Department of Conservation and Recreation kicked off the summer season by opening 81 state beaches for Memorial Day weekend.

Unfortunately, according to the DPH, rain appears to be the cause of recent beach closures because it can cause increased bacteria levels in the water.

However, the ministry also said other reasons for closure may include harmful algae blooms, faulty septic systems or animal waste contaminating the water.

Beaches will be reopened for swimming as soon as bacteria levels return to safe levels, according to the DPH.

Of the closed beaches, 14 are currently managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

They take water quality seriously and test weekly throughout the summer season, starting the week before Memorial Day and continuing through Labor Day.

These tests measure bacteria levels to ensure swimmer safety.

Damon Pond Beach in Ashby, Hopkinton Reservoir Main and Upper Beaches in Ashland, and Mauserts Pond in Clarksburg are temporarily closed.

Additionally, Old Maid’s Park in Great Barrington, Greenfield Municipal Swimming Beach and Lynn Shore Beach are closed.

Pictured: Map of beach closures in Massachusetts

Pictured: Map of beach closures in Massachusetts

Wollaston beaches in Channing & Sachem Street in Quincy are also closed. Other closures include Pearce Lake in Saugus and Beamans Pond for campground and day use in Templeton.

Pearl Hill Pond Beach in Townsend, Shannon Beach in Winchester and Lake Quinsigamond-Regatta Point Beach in Worcester are closed. These beaches are all managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Additionally, Lake Mansfield in Great Barrington is closed for other reasons, and the beach at Cochituate State Park (Natick) is closed due to harmful algae blooms.

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