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Beach Watch: Week 2 – July 8, 2019 Results

July 16th, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

The Week 2 Beach Watch results from July 8, 2019 showed that the five locations that submitted samples all passed: Frink Park, Lake of the Isles, and Wilson Bay at 3’ depth all had E. coli bacteria colony levels of less than 1.0 per 100 milliliters (ml), Round Island had a level of 1.0 per 100 ml, Wilson Bay at 6’ depth had a level of 2.0 per 100 ml, and Scenic View Park had a level of 6.3 bacteria colonies per 100 ml. All of these levels are well below the New York State Health Department limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 ml, making all of these locations safe for swimming. A sample from Potters Beach was not taken on Week 1 and Week 2 due to a lack of volunteer availability, however, a sample has been taken for Week 3 (July 15) and results will be available later this week.

Save The River’s Beach Watch program aims to test the water quality of six local beaches and popular swimming destinations to ensure a safe swimming environment. Water quality is monitored by testing the levels of E. coli bacteria, which in high amounts can cause illness. E. coli is a common indicator used for testing of fecal contamination in waterways and is the recommended indicator in fresh waterways. Results are expressed in the number of bacteria colonies found in a 100 milliliter (ml) sample of swimming water. The New York State Health Department has set a swimming water quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 milliliters of water for a one-time sample and 126 colonies for an average result over five weeks.

With the help of volunteers, six swimming locations are tested every Monday for nine weeks from July 1 through August 26. The six testing sites are Frink Park in downtown Clayton, Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Round Island in Clayton, and Potters Beach on Grindstone Island. Weekly monitoring results are posted on Save The River’s social media, at their 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton storefront, and on the Swim Guide mobile app and website (theswimguide.org). This year the Beach Watch program is managed by summer intern, Molly Russell.

If a New York State swimming beach fails a water quality sample, the beach will close until it passes a resample test. However, Save The River monitors the Beach Watch program on a volunteer basis and has no authority to close the swimming areas we sample. The results are used to highlight areas of concern and inform landowners and stakeholders of potential health risks. When there is a situation of high bacteria, Save The River submits those results to local and state authorities for their use and action.

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