A swimming advisory has been issued for the beach water at Hackberry and Rutherford beaches in Cameron Parish. This advisory is being issued because water samples collected at this location showed high levels of enteric bacteria, which comes from the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Please note that this is NOT a closure of the beach or facilities at Hackberry and Rutherford beaches. All areas remain open for boating and land-based activities.
The advisory, issued through the Louisiana BEACH Monitoring Program, states that the public should avoid swimming at this location because the high levels of bacteria are a potential health risk. This is especially important for the elderly, babies, small children and people who are chronically ill or have compromised immune systems. The advisory remains in effect until LDH samples show water bacterial levels are acceptably lowered.
High levels of enteric bacteria indicate fecal contamination in water. This can happen because of stormwater runoff, area livestock and wildlife or human sewage. These bacteria indicate the possible presence of disease-causing organisms which, if swallowed, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, cramping or fever.
The Louisiana BEACH Monitoring Program is a partnership between the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Office of State Parks. Cameron Parish Police Jury, The Town of Grand Isle and Lafourche Parish Police Jury are partners in this project and are responsible for displaying, maintaining and removing swim advisory signs at area beaches.
The program monitors bacteria levels of water at 13 locations throughout the state from April through October. For more information on the program or to check the status of monitoring at the different locations, please visit http://www.oph.dhh.louisiana.gov/sanitarianservices/beachmonitor/index.html.