Kakumäe water is free from enterococcus, but cyanobacteria is spreading

Kakumäe beach
Kakumäe beach Source: Postimees/Scanpix

The quality of swimming water at Tallinn's Kakumäe beach has been declared safe by Haabersti district government after testing.

Haabersti district government announced (link in Estonian) that a sample test of enterococcus bacteria was taken on June 6 and the results showed the level of the bacteria was high and people should not go in the water. But the repeated test has shown the water has returned to save level. 

Andre Hanimägi, the district governor of Haabersti, said the water in Kakumäe is clean and safe for the swimmers. He added: "Warm and sunny weather brings a lot of vacationers to the beach. At the same time, there are a number of sunbathers and swimmers. Unfortunately, people couldn't enjoy swimming in the water due to the bacteria, but the restriction has been removed." 

The district government announced on July 9 it was not recommended to swim in the water as the bacteria could cause gastrointestinal diseases.

Intestinal enterococcus is a bacterium which lives in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Like bacteria, it can cause gastrointestinal diseases. People should avoid swallowing water. It is important to avoid bathing if there are open wounds. 

The Health Board (Terviseamet) warns against blue-green algae in Kakumäe 

On Wednesday, the Health Board announced that they have received information about the possible spread of cyanobacteria on Kakumäe beach. 

The Board advises people to monitor the condition of the water when going to the beach. A spokesperson of Health Board said: "If you notice that the water has turned yellowish-green due to the visible flakes and the whole shore is covered with a dense green mass with the smell of mildew, it may be the cyanobacteria." 

Cyanobacteria toxins are poisonous for humans if they drink the water. Ingestion of the water has sometimes caused serious poisoning in adults, mainly young children.  

When animals, such as dogs and cats, are licking their fur after swimming in water that is containing cyanobacteria, it is enough to get poisoned by the bacteria. 

Symptoms of cyanobacterial poisoning may be similar to flu, including redness or rash on skin and eyes, malaise, diarrhoea, fever, runny nose, cough, muscle aches, tingling and cracked lips. 


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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