SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — EDITORS NOTE: The above video on the Willard Beach closure was published on August 25, 2021.
A small but popular beach tucked in a quiet South Portland neighborhood is back open for swimming Saturday after abruptly shutting down due to an oil spill.
The beach was expected to remain closed through Monday, August 30, however, the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection said, "Although several petroleum hydrocarbons were detected at all sample locations, their concentrations were well below the guideline values.
They also added that the contaminated water “should not pose a risk to human health.”
The contamination happened after an oil spill ended up in South Portland's drainage system and then emptied into the water at Willard Beach, according to Officials with U.S. Coast Guard, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the City of South Portland.
Once the oil spill was detected, the team quickly began the cleaning effort. Officials said they will continue to monitor the water by taking samples and testing them for the next several weeks to make sure that anyone who encounters the water will be safe.
The City of Portland said they will also update the public until this matter is completely resolved.