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Water Report: High Bacteria Levels at Sites in Montauk, Northwest

Fri, 07/02/2021 - 16:50

Medium or high levels of the enterococcus bacteria were reported in 10 of the 25 water bodies tested by Concerned Citizens of Montauk last week, with extraordinarily high levels found in Montauk at a site by Navy Road on Fort Pond Bay, the Benson Drive Culvert on Lake Montauk, and East Creek on Lake Montauk, and in East Hampton at the Northwest Creek culvert. 

The group tests water bodies in Montauk, East Hampton, and Amagansett for the enterococcus bacteria. Bacteria levels above 104 indicate high concentrations that can be harmful to human health. 

According to the group's report for the week beginning June 28, harmful levels of bacteria were detected at eight test sites in Montauk. At the worst of these, by Navy Road on Fort Pond Bay, the level was 24,196. At East Creek, the level this week was 3,654. At the Benson Drive culvert at Lake Montauk, the level was 2,187. It was 231 at the boat ramp on Fort Pond, 309 at Tuthill Pond, and 109 near Tuthill Road on Fort Pond Bay. 

Medium bacteria levels were found at the nature preserve beach on Lake Montauk, West Creek on Lake Montauk, and Industrial Road on Fort Pond. 

Tuthill Pond and the Fort Pond Bay Sites at Tuthill Road and Navy Road, which were not tested the previous week, all had "uncharacteristically high" levels, according to Kate Rossi-Snook of C.C.O.M. "This could indicate sample contamination, but we will keep a close eye on those sites next week and try to figure out what may have led to this elevation," she wrote.

All four locations tested in Amagansett had low levels of bacteria, as did six of seven tested in East Hampton and Springs. The exception was the Northwest Creek culvert, where the level rose from 121 in the week beginning June 21 to 860 this week.

C.C.O.M. also monitors for toxic blue-green algal, or cyanobacteria, blooms According to the Rossi-Snook, the South Beach area of Lake Montauk is “completely clear” and probably will not require further testing. Stepping Stones Pond, however, shows some blue-green algae. The group will continue to monitor it in the coming weeks.

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