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Tests Find Potential Bacteria Threat In Sound Waters

Mouth of the Hutchinson River
Mouth of the Hutchinson River Photo Credit: Wikipedia

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The environmental watchdog organization Save the Sound’s summer water quality testing effort has revealed potentially dangerous levels of bacteria in areas in and around Mamaroneck Harbor.

The test results confirmed the presence of fecal contamination, which potentially creates health hazards at some area beaches and waterways such as Beaver Swamp Brook and Hutchinson River, Tracy Brown, director of Save the Sound’s Western Long Island Sound program, said in a press release.

One Beaver Swamp Brook site near Rye Neck High School could possibly have a 24/7 sewage leak, according to Brown. The Hutchison River had fecal coliform levels 40 times higher than the acceptable limits, Brown added.

Volunteers and staff members have been monitoring Westchester County bacteria levels for two years.

During this year’s effort, trained staff and volunteers collected more than 200 samples at 35 testing sites. The samples were analyzed for fecal coliform bacteria, excess nitrogen, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and other matter that could potentially endanger the region’s aquatic ecosystem.

“The data we've collected over the last two summers, and which we'll continue to monitor going forward, are invaluable in identifying pollution sources so they can be cleaned up,” Brown said.

“We’re sharing the results with the county Health Department and local officials. We urge residents to keep an eye out for sewage overflows and report them, to reduce their personal water usage, maintain their sewers and call on local officials to maintain and repair community sewers. Together we can reach our goal of safe beaches and vibrant life in the Sound’s waters.” 

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