Freers Beach in Tasmania shut down over E. coli detection

A popular beach in Tasmania has been shut down after elevated levels of E. coli were found during regular testing.

The harmful bacteria was detected in parts of Freers Beach in Port Sorell, a town on the northwest coast of Tasmania.

Found in the faeces of humans and animals, E. coli can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach upsets if consumed through contaminated food or water.

A statement from Latrobe Council said the temporary closure extends from Rice St, Port Sorell north to North Freers Beach at the Port Sorell Surf Life Saving Club, with signs marking the closed sections.

Hawley Beach, or Freers Beach south of Rice St through to the Panatana Family Park, has not been impacted by the E. coli detection.

It said recent laboratory testing found “elevated” levels of E. coli that surpassed “the acceptable threshold”.

“As a precautionary measure and in the interest of public safety, Latrobe Council has taken the decisive step to temporarily close the affected section of Freers Beach,” the statement said.

Latrobe council also acknowledged the “inconvenience” of the beach closure and thanked the community for their “co-operation and understanding”.

Latrobe Council mayor Peter Freshney further sampling will be conducted and an update will be shared on Friday.

“The health and safety of our community are of paramount importance,” he said.

“In response to the elevated enterococci levels at Freers Beach, we have taken the proactive measure of closing the affected section to protect the public.”

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