Tests Show High Bacteria

Water samples taken behind the Methodist Church are among three in East Hampton Village with significant levels of the enterococcus bacteria, according to Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the Surfrider Blue Water Task Force. David E. Rattray

Three East Hampton Village sites tested during the last week of April for waterborne bacteria showed medium to high levels of enterococcus, which originates in the fecal tracts of humans and animals. 

According to Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the Surfrider Blue Water Task Force, water samples taken behind the Methodist Church, at Town Pond, and at the Nature Trail on David’s Lane showed significant levels of the bacteria. 

The 563 viable enterococcus cells counted per sample at the Methodist Church site was the highest found in East Hampton Town during the period. The next highest sample was taken from Pussy’s Pond in Springs, where 324 colony-forming units were observed. Both ranked “high” on the C.C.O.M.-Surfrider scale.

Other sites rated “medium” in the tests were East Creek in Lake Montauk, the Surfside Place outfall pipe at the ocean in downtown Montauk, and the east side of Napeague Harbor. The Georgica Pond boat launch off Montauk Highway, a perennial hot spot, showed 20 colony-forming units, or C.F.U.s, placing it toward the bottom of the “low” category.

None of the 19 sites tested during the same period in Southampton Town rated high for enterococcus. The only medium-ranked locations were at the Stony Brook Southampton University boat ramp on Little Neck Road and at Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.