Decision Awaited on Opening of Town Beaches

Winthrop Commissioner of Inspectional Services Albert Legee said he will receive the laboratory results today (Thursday) that will determine whether Pico and Donovan beaches can be re-opened to the public.

Donovan Beach has been closed for two weeks while Pico Beach has been closed for one week. The two beaches were closed due to the high bacteria count in the water, according to Legee.

A “Beach Closed” sign is posted near the entrance to Donovan Beach on Pleasant Street. As of press time on Wednesday, beaches in the are remain closed.

“We had extreme heat, followed by rain, followed by storm and sometimes when you get high heat and storm surges and changing weather conditions – Donovan Beach has always been problematic over the years,” said Legee.

He said the high bacterial count at Pico was surprising, considering that the beach has rarely experienced issues in past years.

Legee conducts tests in the waters at all Winthrop beaches every Wednesday during the summer and a laboratory testing firm picks up the samples. The test results are then sent to Legee on Thursdays.

Taking water samples at the beaches can be an interesting and taxing experience.

“You can’t take the samples at the shore because they’re not accurate,” said Legee. “At low tide at Donovan Beach, I test right up to [waist-deep] in the water, so I have to go way out past the pier to get the samples.”

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