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Friday, 22 July 2016 10:01

Brown’s Beach Update

By | News
Brown’s Beach Update
STILLWATER — Brown’s Beach will remain closed to swimming for an undetermined amount of days until a series of tests conclude water safety. Stillwater Town Supervisor Ed Kinowski said it is highly unlikely the contamination had anything to do with the July 4th spill of 5,000 gallons of untreated sewage into Saratoga Lake because Brown’s Beach is south of that location and the lake’s water currents would have carried the spill further north, not south. “We are only in week two of the closed beach,” said Kinowski, “and I know everyone is disappointed, but they won’t be disappointed with all the data we’re collecting.” The NYS Department of Health has issued the following statement: “Brown’s Beach remains closed for swimming and wading because of bacteriological water quality samples that have exceeded the state standard of 235 E. coli per 100 ml for fresh water. The Town of Stillwater has taken additional samples and once water quality improves and is below the state standard, the beach may reopen for swimming and wading. State DOH will continue to work with the town to evaluate potential sources of the bacteria and mitigation steps.
For more information about E. coli, please see: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/e_coli/fact_sheet.htm.” Currently, Brown’s Beach is the only regulated swimming area on the lake. It is the up to each municipality that touches the lake to decide whether to test any of the swimming locations in their respective areas. In order to assure the safety of residents and visitors, the Town of Stillwater began regular testing in April long before Brown’s Beach opened, and had E. coli levels that were well below the state health standard until the recent DOH test. “We’re always in the single or low double digits. We didn’t have a problem until the DOH test,” said Kinowski. “So we started a series of testing and we aren’t done. One test doesn’t answer for rainstorm or windstorm events, or bird populations. We want to build a database. Our aim is to see if there’s a temporary issue or a longer issue, which takes time. I’m hoping by the end of this week to gather enough data to decide if there’s as pattern. DOH, DEC, EnCon have all been very helpful. We’re doing actual counts, so someone is looking through a microscope counting bacteria because we want it done right.”
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