Health officials told beach-goers Wednesday to hold off visiting the waterfront at Dash Point Park until they investigate high bacteria counts measured that can indicate a sewage spill.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department closed the beach due to Entrococcus bacteria counts, which it said can increase the risk of gastrointestinal sickness, and were 10 times the level at which officials would usually close marine beaches.
“It may have been from a sewage spill, one or more failing septic systems in close proximity, or a boater dumping untreated wastewater,” environmental health specialist Ray Hanowell said.
Any activities that would expose bare skin to the water, or cause the water to be ingested, should be avoided, the department said.
As long as fishermen wear waders and carefully wash and cook their catch, fishing at the park is still safe.
Health officials took additional samples Wednesday to investigate further.
The beach will stay closed until testing shows a safe bacteria level.