How are the beaches sampled?

Beaches are sampled a minimum of five times (or "events") per month. Each sampling "event" consists of three samples taken at representative locations within the bathing beach area. The water samples are collected one foot below the surface in three to six feet of water. The samples are then taken to a contracted certified laboratory to be analyzed for E. Coli bacteria.

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1. What is E. coli?
2. What are the risks associated with bacteria in the water?
3. How are the beaches sampled?
4. Why was an advisory posted at the beach?
5. How long will the beach have the advisory posted?
6. When will it be safe to swim again?
7. How do bacteria get in the water?
8. How do I know if it is safe to swim?