Clayton, NY (September 14, 2010) – Save The River’s Beach Watch Program found high bacteria levels at two of its monitoring sites this season, including Potter’s Beach that has never reported high bacteria levels before. Save The River recorded high bacteria levels at Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent as well, a site that has had consistently high bacteria levels in past years.
Save The River’s Beach Watch Program expanded its season with volunteers monitoring six swimming areas over a nine week period in July and August, sampling swimming areas that are not monitored by other organizations. Of the six sites sampled, four were within the state and federal standards for swimming water quality including Round Island near Clayton, Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island and Frink Dock in Clayton.
Monitoring at Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island found bacteria levels above the accepted standard for swimming water quality on three dates in 2010 including: July 19th, August 9th, and August 16th. This is the first time high bacteria levels have been reported at Potter’s Beach. Save The River is currently working with partners and local landowners to investigate possible causes and will be increasing water sampling at this site during next year’s swimming season.
Save The River continued increased sampling at Wilson’s Beach this season to closely monitor the bacteria levels at this site. Wilson Beach bacteria levels spiked above the state standard for testing on four dates, August 2nd, August 26th, August 23rd and August 30th.
Save The River believes Wilson’s Beach is experiencing high bacteria levels due to the presence of thick mats of Cladophora. Cladophora is a native type of green fibrous algae which can harbor harmful bacteria causing beaches to fail the one time testing parameter for swimming water quality. The reason for high bacteria levels at Potter’s Beach is currently undetermined. Save The River will increase sampling at Potter’s Beach to monitor water quality in greater detail next season and work with partners to examine potential causes of pollution at the beach.
All samples are taken by Save The River volunteers and analyzed by Converse Laboratories in Watertown, a state certified testing facility. Samples collected each week are tested for Enterococci, a bacteria. High levels of bacteria can cause health problems such as rashes and gastrointestinal illness, and are most dangerous for the very old, very young, or anyone with a compromised immune system.
Save The River’s Beach Watch Program has been monitoring swimming water quality in the Thousand Islands since 1999. Check our website for detailed results for the entire season and for more information on the program. To sponsor or volunteer for this program, call Save The River at 315-686-2010.
For more information, contact:
Jennifer Caddick, Save The River Executive Director
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: (315) 686-2010 / Cell: (315) 767-2802