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Water Report: 'Bacteria Levels Normalized'

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 10:34

Four of the 26 water bodies tested last week by Concerned Citizens of Montauk had high levels of the enterococcus bacteria, and three had medium levels. "Bacteria levels seem to have normalized at most of our sites, with the exception of a few of our typically problematic locations," Kate Rossi-Snook of C.C.O.M. wrote last Thursday. 

Tests found four less water bodies with high levels than the week prior. Each week, C.C.O.M. tests water bodies in Amagansett, East Hampton, and Montauk for the enterococcus bacteria, which is harmful to human health in levels about 104 or higher, all considered high in the organization's reports.

In Montauk, the East Creek at Lake Montauk had the highest levels by far, at 2,359, and the Benson Drive culvert at Lake Montauk had levels of 816. Both locations are consistently "problematic," in Ms. Rossi-Snook's words. The Little Reed Pond Creek, South Beach, and West Creek sites on Lake Montauk were found to have medium entero levels. 

Tuthill Pond was found to have unusually high levels of 1,670. "It was reported that many birds were at the Tuthill Pond site, which is the likely source of high bacteria there," Ms. Rossi-Snook wrote. The pond had medium levels of bacteria last week.

All four Amagansett water bodies tested had low levels of bacteria. One Springs site, by the Springs General Store on Accabonac Harbor, was found to have high levels of bacteria, with a reading of 504. 

C.C.O.M. also tests for harmful algal blooms caused by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. Both the boat ramp and Industrial Road locations at Fort Pond in Montauk were found to have medium risks of algal blooms. According to Ms. Rossi-Snook, this can be due to rain followed by warm, sunny days, although the risk of HABs are still low compared to past years.

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