NEWPORT BEACH

Fear that there are large numbers of disease-producing bacteria, including E. coli, present in waters off Bayshore Beach has forced the county Health Care Agency to close it. Samples taken from the small private beach, off the Pacific Coast Highway Bridge, show that the amount of the bacteria indicator coliform to be 16 times higher than acceptable standards, agency spokeswoman Monica Mazur said. Sources of bacteria such as E. coli could be urban runoff, boat holding tanks, a broken sewage line or animal waste. The beach will remain closed to residents of the gated community until follow-up tests show the water quality has returned to acceptable standards.

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