• Warning: High fecal bacteria levels found at popular Kitsap County beach

    By: Shelby Miller


    Think twice before jumping into the water at Pomeroy Park in Manchester this holiday weekend. 

    The Kitsap County Health Department posted bright yellow warning signs alerting beachgoers of high bacteria levels that make it unsafe to swim.

    “I think it’s scary. I think it’s concerning for our pets and all the people that live on the water and those of us that want to go fishing out here,” said Indy Darst. 

    Darst and her friends boarded a boat to head out camping for Memorial Day weekend. 

    Because of the bacteria, they’re not going swimming -- and that goes for Tschuggen the dog, too.

    “This weekend, definitely, he’s not going in the water,” said Darst. 

    This week, the Department of Ecology, with the help of volunteers, began testing water at 67 beaches across the sound. They’ll continue the work through Labor Day. 

    "We go down and we collect water samples in one or two different vials and we seal it up and we put it on ice and drop it off at the local lab,” said Olympia Surfrider volunteer coordinator Liz Schotman. "Then that's tested for enterobacteria." 

    Right now, Pomeroy Park is the only spot that shows alarming levels of fecal bacteria, which come from humans, dogs and birds. There are steps people can take to keep beaches clean.

    “Keep their toddlers, if they have them, in swim diapers when they're in the water. If you have a dog on the beach, pick up the waste and throw it in a garbage can. We ask people to be sure they throw away their trash because that just attracts wildlife to the area,” said Julianne Ruffner, Department of Ecology beach program coordinator.

    Warning signs will stay up at the beach until water tests show the area is safe. 

    The Department of Ecology has a beach closure tool on his website so you can check beach advisories before you go. 

    Link: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/coastalatlas/Tools/BeachClosure.aspx 




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