Bacteria Spike Seen at Ditch Plain in Montauk

Potentially harmful bacteria levels were detected in East End waters by the Concerned Citizens of Montauk and Surfrider Foundation Long Island Chapter in test samples taken on Monday.

In the Concerned Citizens testing, a sample taken in the ocean at the end of Otis Road at Ditch Plain in Montauk had an elevated enterococcus count, with 717 colony-forming units, the site's first "high bacteria" level in recent months. Bacteria counts above 104 colony-forming units, or cells able to divide, per 100 milliliters of water are considered unhealthy, according to a federal standard.

Enterococcus bacteria indicates the presence of feces in the water. It can cause gastrointestinal problems and issues with the skin, eyes, ears, and respiratory tract.

Also in Montauk, a sample from Little Reed Pond creek contained 683 cells and East Creek, 120 cells.

A sample from the Head of the Harbor at Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton also had a high count, with 573 cells. Fort Pond Bay in Montauk had a medium level of 82 cells.

Several test sites with recent high bacteria counts were not sampled because of a scheduling problem, Kate Rossi-Snook of C.C.O.M. said. These were Fresh Pond in Amagansett, Pussy's Pond in Springs, Hook Pond in East Hampton, and a stormwater outfall pipe at Surfside Place in Montauk.

Separately, the Suffolk Health Department issued an advisory warning bathers to stay out of the water at more than 60 beaches following Friday's heavy rain. On the East End, Haven's Beach in Sag Harbor was the only bathing beach for which the county issued a warning.