Water Borne Bacteria, Tobacco Bay Beach Closed

September 20, 2017 | 29 Comments

The Ministry of Health advised that Tobacco Bay Beach “has been closed to swimmers due to higher than normal levels of water-borne bacteria.”

“The Department of Health conducts regular testing of seawater and has closed the beach to swimmers and watersports today, due to bacterial levels above the Department’s acceptable limit,” the Ministry said.

Chart from the Government’s seawater sampling:

1-Fullscreen capture 9202017 21802 PM

“Further testing and evaluation is underway and the beach will reopen once bacteria levels drop to normal. Inclement weather and wind direction can have an effect on bacterial levels.

“The concessionaire at Tobacco Bay Beach has been informed. For more information about Government’s seawater testing, see here.

Update 2.15pm: The sample results were just updated to included Sept 17th, so we amended the PDF below to show the more recent ones, and also posted a screenshot above.

The Ministry’s 2017 Seawater Sampling Results follow below [PDF here]

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Comments (29)

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  1. voltage says:

    This is a bold step and it begs the question what is the cause of this spike and can they stop it at the source or is this an ongoing issue of pollution?

    • reasoning says:

      The article states that “Inclement weather and wind direction can have an effect on bacterial levels.”

      • Truths says:

        And you believe that? Without facts and evidence? Go have a swim. Take the family.

  2. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Best beach in Bermuda…. I THINK NOT LMFAO

  3. LOL says:

    Yes it certainly does. LOL Just have a read!!!

    • VJ says:

      Even though I read that part, I can understand why he/she is questioning it. This sounds quite strange. I’m fifty years old and I can’t recall a beach being closed for this reason. Lots of weird stuff going on.

  4. sage says:

    What is the genus and species of the bacteria detected?

    • Scientist says:

      The fungi or unicellular microorganism is oba/UBP bacteria 12 seat!

      The organism is known to split and form a third party.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, it begs the question does it come from human feces? Is this why we had the recent fish die off? And what is going to happen when they build another hotel on the beach there in St. Georges? Where are those feces going to go?

  5. Real Onion says:

    I blame de plp.

  6. john says:

    what is the source of the bacteria? what type of bacteria is it? I really wish Government would be a lot more forthcoming in its press releases.

  7. Hope says:

    Any connection with the fish die off event?

  8. Antlee says:

    No one has mentioned just how poorly this beach is performing historically compared with the other beaches in the east. Even though Tobacco Bay has been well beneath the threshhold since April, in that timeframe the only beach that came close to its level was Shelly Bay. Personally, I feel this data should’ve raised alarms as far back as June when the first notable spike happened. Failing that, some investigation should’ve taken place in July when the rise in levels began to take off; even Shelly Bay was comparative with the other beaches at this point.

  9. Jose says:

    Floaters in the waters weeeeooooooh

  10. rene says:

    Why aren’t they testing the beach at Fort St. Catherine. The levels seem to have steadily increased from July through September. Coincidentally this is when the beach is most busy with locals and tourist’s. It suggests that the venue is overused.

    • sage says:

      Good point, someone needs to immediately send all these questions to the Department of Health or the Minister for answers.

  11. BustedTheEconomyStartinNew says:

    Water which is too pure has no fish.

  12. Widget says:

    Where do you think all the sewage waste has been dumped for the last fifty years folks. News flash” Just off Tobacco Bay. I don”t go there because of this very reason.

    • Ok says:

      Where exactly? And all the sewage from where? Don’t most houses have sas pits….please respond….

  13. Micro says:

    Looks like it’s directly related to the popularity of the location and the ability for the water to circulate out.

  14. Real Deal says:

    we need to take human waste to the next level. it should be reused for fuel in stead of being processed for dumping. 2017 people. with will lower the cost of collection. i just had 350 gallons of wasted collected and it cost me almost $300. this would be a mile stone for Bermuda

    • Real Deal says:

      hmm looking at the charts it almost looks like beach activity could be a factor.
      one question. where is the waste from the beach bath rooms going?

  15. Brier says:

    I have always feared that beach is polluted anyway

  16. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Also there are tides and a pipe for waste off northshore, doesn’t go out far enough or there is a hole innit.

  17. Kim Smith says:

    we need to do something about the dumping of raw sewage off the east end. Let’s fix it for God’s sake!

  18. TobaccoBayOperator says:

    Many thanks for the received well wishes and park concerns.
    We’re happy that the Park has reopened with so much amazing weather left in the year.

    As to potential causes of the bacterial rising:

    Based on considerations, the recent Mermaid event with an increased no. of persons using the beach, coupled with the prevailing wind conditions, could have been the source of the uptick. There is also run off from land with large pools of puddles from clogged drains nearby, as result of recent heavy rains. With monitoring and infrastructure developments, anomalies will be addressed and in meantime we’re happy a clean bill from Health has been provided.

    Mentioned elsewhere, the concession’s deck side restaurant is still open and has some cool October weekends coming up too… (Tobaccobay.bm).

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