High Bacteria Found in Recent Water Tests

A stormwater pipe on the ocean beach at Surfside Place in Montauk tested positive for high levels of fecal bacteria in a June 11 sample. David E. Rattray

In the latest Concerned Citizens of Montauk water test results, released this week, high levels of bacteria were found at testing sites on Lake Montauk, especially at East Creek. High levels were also found by an outfall pipe at Surfside Place, Montauk, where wastewater dribbles directly onto the ocean beach, and at a boat ramp at Fort Pond.

The Concerned Citizens of Montauk, in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force, tests water bodies in Montauk, Amagansett, and East Hampton for the potentially dangerous bacteria enterococcus.

Enterococcus is a type of lactic acid bacteria. It can cause serious health problems like urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis. It has a high correlation with pathogens often found in urban sewage and originates in the feces of humans and animals.

High levels of enterococcus usually follow heavy rains, extreme high tides, and warm water temperatures. The most recent water tests by C.C.O.M. were on June 11; the next series of water samples will be taken next week.

In Amagansett, Fresh Pond creek had medium levels of the bacteria in the June 11 water samples.

Pussy’s Pond in Springs and Hook Pond in East Hampton Village had high levels of the bacteria, as did the Methodist Lane swale, also in the village.

Because of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, tests of water samples from Georgica Pond and points west of East Hampton were skipped last week; the Stony Brook Southampton lab where they are usually processed was inaccessible.

C.C.O.M. has also installed intensive monitoring and remediation projects at Lake Montauk, Fresh Pond, Pussy’s Pond, Hook Pond, East Hampton Town Pond, and the East Hampton Village Green bioswale.

More information about C.C.O.M. and the full report can be found at preservemontauk.com.