Signs are posted along the Purdy sandspit, warning against shellfishing and swimming. The beach has had an advisory since 2008. Photo: Marsha Hart, KP News

The Purdy sandspit beach is closed to clamming and oyster harvesting, and a swimming and shellfishing advisories are in effect.

Since October 2008 Purdy spit has had a permanent swimming advisory. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department closed the spit to recreational shellfishing, and has posted signs advising beach users against swimming.

The advisory was issued due to the failing sewage systems near the beach, and the advisory will be in place until those systems are repaired, said Jessica Archer at the Department of Health and Ecology.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in the water can come from both shore and inland sources, according to a news release from the Department of Ecology.

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in illness such as gastroenteritis, skin rashes and upper respiratory infections.

Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.