The Times-Standard

Posted: 11/22/2009 01:21:12 AM PST

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Environmental Health Division has lifted a public health warning to avoid water contact at Luffenholtz and Trinidad beaches.

Water quality samples collected Thursday show that no state health standards were exceeded at these beaches. The initial warning was issued on Nov. 18.

The health department has not rescinded the warning to avoid contact with ocean and river water associated with the Mad River mouth near Mad River Beach and Clam Beach. The water sample collected there Thursday exceeded the state standard for Enterococcus faecalis. Enterococcus is a type of indicator bacteria whose presence often is associated with disease-causing microorganisms. These bacteria do not usually cause illness in swimmers, but high levels mean the water may be contaminated with other pathogens that can make people sick.

The beach will be sampled again for bacteria on Dec. 1, along with the other four beaches that are monitored bi-monthly during the winter months.

Water quality data for the monitored beaches is posted on the Humboldt County Web site at: Click on “Current Water Quality Test Results.” The yellow warning signs are removed from the beaches as soon as tests indicate that the beach waters do not exceed the standards.

For further information, please contact Environmental Health at 445-6215.