Swimming closed at Silver Sands, Day Pond and Wharton Brook due to elevated bacteria

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MILFORD -- Beaches closing because of elevated bacteria levels is not anything out of the ordinary in Connecticut. Still, it's still a bummer when you have a day that includes abundant sun, low humidity and a light breeze, but no refreshing water.

"We got here and we were setting our stuff up and then they came with the flags," said Shannara Bauer, of Bethlehem, who was enjoying the weather at Silver Sands State Park beach in Milford Wednesday.

Red flags with a depiction of a swimmer with a line drawn through it were posted up and down the beach to indicate no swimming.

The timing of the water closure couldn't have been worse for a family visiting Connecticut from England. Today was their only opportunity to go to the beach.

"We had a little paddle in the water and then a lady down the beach, a nurse, told us that there was a lot of bacteria, some kind of issue," said Steve Wallace of England.

Wallace says his home country faces similar troubles "but they maybe don't tell you about it," he said with a wry smile.

Two sisters from Danbury also made the one hour trip to Silver Sands. But one just ended up blaming the other.

"When I got to her house this morning, I had said to her 'are you sure that the beach is open,'" said Debbie Danyluck.

Her sister, Danielle Izzo, said she hadn't seen or heard anything, so they hit the road.

But, when they arrived, a beach attendant pulled up in a cart and said that because of high bacteria levels they wouldn't be allowed in the water.

"We could've been at your pool," Danyluck said, teasing Izzo.

Makayla Taylor, 9, of Bridgeport knew the water was off limits today, but she knew how to keep cool.

"I have a spray bottle full of water," she was proud to say.

And, while avid fisherman cast aside the water warnings, they say they're noticing their yield isn't as plentiful in recent years.

"I don't know what it is, maybe pollution from the restaurants that used to be around," said Ron Bonito of Oxford, who has been fishing at Silver Sands for years.

Water samples were taken by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection again today and brought to the state's Rocky Hill lab to be tested. Those test results will be available tomorrow morning. To keep up-to-date on all DEEP advisories log on to www.ct.gov/deep.

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