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Water Reports Show Decrease in Bacteria Levels

Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:28

Concerned Citizens of Montauk's latest water-testing results for the week ending July 5 indicate that enterococcus bacteria levels across the Town of East Hampton had seen an aggregate drop-off -- though four test sites did show entero levels deemed risky to human health. 

Fifteen sites out of the 32 that C.C.O.M routinely tests registered bacteria levels at 10 MPN/ml (most probable number per millimeter) or below -- including the Stepping Stones at Lake Montauk, the west side of Napeague Harbor in Amagansett and the ramp at Northwest Creek in East Hampton. The organization's report from the week before, by contrast, identified 10 sites with bacteria levels at 10 MPN/ml or below. 

Trouble spots on the most recent report included the East Creek area of Lake Montauk, which led the high-bacteria pack with an entero level of 313 MPN/ml. The good news? That's a huge decrease from the 1,904 MPN/ml registered in the previous report.

Elsewhere in Montauk, the Navy Road test site was just over the high-risk line at 108 (a bacteria level of above 104 is considered a risk to humans). 

Meanwhile, the boat ramp at Fort Pond dropped from a medium bacteria load of 74 to a low load of 31, while the test site at nearby Industrial Road on Fort Pond rose from a low load of 20 to a medium load of 52 MPN/ml. 

Outside of Montauk, Accabonac Harbor, east of the Old Stone culvert in Springs registered at 134 MPN/ml, while another East Hampton test site, the culvert at Northwest Creek, was red-lined in the report with an entero level of 169 -- up from 148 in the previous report. 

The causeway south area of Lake Montauk (south of Star Island) was not tested, nor was the harbor in Lake Montauk -- but those sites are regularly identified by C.C.O.M. as having high bacteria levels. 

Bacteria levels can spike after heavy rains, king tides, and/or warming water temperatures. C.C.O.M. has ongoing remediation projects or intensive testing underway at 15 of the 32 waterways listed in its report. 

C.C.O.M. also partners with the Gobler Lab at Stony Brook 

Southampton to conduct weekly tests for toxic blue-green algal blooms caused by cynobacteria. Tests undertaken at the Ford Pond ramp and on Industrial Road in Montauk found that no blooms were present. However, blue-green algal levels at both sites were higher on the organization's report for last week than in its previous report.

The average of the two Montauk test sites last week was still far below the bloom threshold. 


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