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April 17, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Fecal bacteria levels close Pierce County shellfish harvesting area

Shellfish harvesting in part of Vaughn Bay in Pierce County has been closed because of high levels of fecal bacteria, and health officials have identified 14 additional shellfish growing areas that could be closed if fecal pollution worsens, the Washington state Department of Health said today.

The samples taken at growing-area stations failed to meet classification standards because of the amount of fecal bacteria from animal and human waste, according to the health department. Fecal bacteria can contaminate shellfish and make the people who eat them sick.

The pollution problems in 14 of the 101 Washington commercial shellfish growing areas can likely be fixed through pollution correction projects, Bob Woolrich, Growing Area section manager, said in a news release.

A list of the shellfish harvesting areas threatened with closure is available on the health department website. The agency shellfish program evaluates the state’s growing areas every year to evaluate water quality.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: shellfish, Vaughn Bay, Washington State Department of Health

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