Willard Beach in South Portland will reopen to the public on Thursday, one week after the city was forced to close the popular beach following a break in the force main that carries wastewater through the neighborhood.

The city closed the beach on June 1 and it remained closed until Wednesday afternoon, when water quality tests showed that the beach could be safely reopened to the public.

Bacteria levels in the ocean water are now below the public safety threshold set by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Maine Healthy Beaches Program, the city said on Wednesday.

City staff have repositioned barricades, allowing visitors to enter the beach. Staff will remove the barriers and beach closed signs on Thursday.

The pipe burst around 4:30 p.m. last Thursday. Last fall, the city spent $300,000 to line the sewer pipes along Willard Beach in an effort to reduce the infiltration of sand into the system, something that can cause excessive abrasion. The city and its contractor are taking steps to prevent future breaks from occurring.

South Portland tests water at Willard Beach twice from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It has recently increased its monitoring of stormwater outfall along the beach. Willard Beach uses a flag notification system at its main entrance to inform visitors of any water quality issues.

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