A section of a beach located in Tasmania’s north has been closed due to the discovery of “elevated level of E. coli” in the water.
The discovery was made during recent weekly testing of Freers Beach in Shearwater, about an hour north of Launceston.
According to Latrobe Council the level of E. coli that was present in the water surpassed “the acceptable threshold”, forcing the temporary closure of some parts of the beach.
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The council said the closure would take place “effective immediately”.
“As a precautionary measure and in the interest of public safety, Latrobe Council has taken the decisive step to temporarily close the affected section of Freers Beach,” the council said.
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The closure extends from Rice St, Port Sorell north to North Freers Beach at the Port Sorell Surf Life Saving Club.
Hawley Beach and Freers Beach from Rice St south to Panatana Reserve remain open.
Latrobe Council mayor Peter Freshney said further testing of the water would take place and that an update would be provided to residents on Friday.
“The health and safety of our community are of paramount importance,” he said.
E. coli bacteria can cause various minor illnesses such as diarrhoea and food poisoning or more serious illnesses such as pneumonia or inflammation of the gallbladder.
Infection can be spread through contact with contaminated food or water, or by contact with other people who are sick.
Latrobe Council has installed signs indicating the beach’s closure.