Eleven of the 27 water bodies Concerned Citizens of Montauk tested in Montauk, Amagansett, Springs, and East Hampton last week contained high levels of the enterococcus bacteria; an additional two water bodies were found to have medium levels. Extremely high levels were found at East Creek and the culvert off Benson Drive, both on Lake Montauk, and by the Springs General Store in Accabonac Harbor.
Each week, the group's team of five volunteers collects and tests samples from South Fork water bodies for enterococcus bacteria, which can be harmful to human health at levels above 105, which are considered high.
Five Montauk water bodies were reported to have high levels of bacteria. Lake Montauk's East Creek and the culvert off Benson Drive had levels of 4,884 and 8,164, respectively. The nature preserve beach, Little Reed Pond creek, and Navy Road location off Fort Pond Bay also had high levels. The Stepping Stones site at Lake Montauk and Tuthill Pond hadd medium levels of the enterococcus bacteria.
The levels at Fort Pond Bay and Tuthill Pond show an abrupt decrease from last week's, which were "uncharacteristically high," according to Kate Rossi-Snook of C.C.O.M. This week, however, "we have altered our sample treatment for the Long Island Sound/Fort Pond Bay sites . . . and have thus seen a return to numbers we typically see at those sites," she wrote.
The group tested four water bodies in Amagansett, two of which were found to have high levels of bacteria: the beach and creek at Fresh Pond.
The group found that four out of eight East Hampton and Springs water bodies tested had high levels of bacteria. The Shipyard Lane ramp and General Store locations at Accabonac Harbor in Springs had levels of 108 and 1081, respectively, and the ramp and culvert sites at Northwest Creek in East Hampton were found to have levels of 373 and 465.
The group also tests for toxic blue-green algal blooms caused by cyanobacteria. Both the boat ramp and Industrial Road locations at Fort Pond were found to have medium risks of algal blooms, but these levels are still low compared to past years, according to Ms. Rossi-Snook.