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Medium to High Bacteria Levels in Water at 12 Testing Sites

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 21:09

Twelve of the 28 South Fork water bodies tested by Concerned Citizens of Montauk were found to have had medium to high levels of harmful bacteria, the organization said in this week's water quality report.

Lake Montauk's Little Reed Pond Creek, southern causeway, and West Creek were found to have medium levels of the enterococcus bacteria. However, Lake Montauk's East Creek and Stepping Stones areas were found to have high levels of bacteria, with East Creek having an entero level of 6,131. Levels at 104 and above are considered a risk to human health.

In Amagansett, Fresh Pond Creek was found to have an enterococcus level of 86, indicating a medium bacteria presence.

In East Hampton, Northwest Creek's culvert, the head of Three Mile Harbor, and Accabonac Harbor's shipyard ramp were found to have high levels of enterococcus. Northwest Creek's ramp was found to have medium levels of bacteria. In Springs, Pussy's Pond had a bacteria level of 135, indicating a high presence.

Increased bacteria levels at many of the tested sites may be due to the recent heavy rains, C.C.O.M. said. High bacteria counts are commonly a result of extreme high tides, heavy rains, and/or warm water temperatures. When visiting any of these sites, swimmers are encouraged to rinse completely when home and avoid getting any water into their mouths. 

Concerned Citizens of Montauk, in partnership with the Gobler Lab at Stony Brook Southampton, also monitors Fort and Big Reed Pond in Montauk for harmful algal blooms known as cyanobacteria. In Fort Pond, there is a medium risk for toxic blue-green algal blooms. Due to a scheduling conflict, C.C.O.M. was unable to test Big Reed Pond this week.

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