Sound Swim Alerts, Week 2

It’s Saturday morning, it’s warm and sunny, and Long Island Sound beaches are open in Westchester County, Nassau County, and Greenwich.

For those who are new to our Sound Swim Alerts, welcome! We will be letting you know each weekend morning if your local beaches are open for swimming or closed. Check here on Green Cities Blue Waters, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign-up to receive the alerts as emails.

We started Sound Swim Alerts to give Western Long Island Sound residents an easy way to find out if their favorite beaches are open and to call attention to the frequent beaches closures caused by local water pollution.

Why Do Our Beaches Close?

Beaches are closed to protect the public from polluted water that can make people sick. The most common cause of illness from swimming is high levels of pathogenic bacteria in the water. Pathogenic (“disease-causing”) bacteria comes from human and animal waste that can reach the water from a number of sources including – leaks from sewage pipes, leaking septic systems and cesspools, and polluted stormwater that drains to beaches.

Because rain is a known trigger of bacterial contamination at some beaches, many beach closures are automatic based on wet weather. This is a necessary practice because water quality tests take 24 hours to process, so if we waited for test results we would be closing beaches the day after they are unsafe for swimming.

When it rains Westchester County Health Department issues beach closure advisories to 10 beaches, Nassau County Health Department issues closure advisories to 14 beaches and the Town of Greenwich Department of Health issues closure advisories to three.

Stay Informed & Get Involved!

Whenever beaches are closed, whether it’s a weekend or a weekday, we will post a Sound Swim Alert and send an email alert as well.

We are not simply calling attention to the problem, we are also working to solve it! Please join our mailing list or to improve the health of Long Island Sound and ensure safe swimming for all!


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