Save The River’s Beach Watch program aims to test the water quality of eight local beaches and popular swimming destinations to ensure a safe swimming environment. Water quality is monitored by testing the levels of E. coli bacteria, which in high amounts can cause illness. E. coli is a common indicator used for testing of fecal contamination in waterways and is the recommended indicator in fresh waterways. Results are expressed in the number of bacteria colonies found in a 100 milliliter (ml) sample of swimming water. The New York State Health Department has set a swimming water quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 milliliters of water for a one-time sample and 126 colonies for an average result over five weeks.
With the help of volunteers, eight swimming locations are tested for nine weeks from July 4 through August 29. The eight testing sites are: Frink Park, Clayton; Scenic View Park, Alexandria Bay; Thousand Islands Park Cove, Wellesley Island; Lake of the Isles, Wellesley Island; Wilson’s Beach, Cape Vincent; Round Island, Clayton; Potters Beach, Grindstone Island; Oak Point, Hammond. Weekly monitoring results are posted o results are posted here and social media, at their 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton storefront, and on the Swim Guide mobile app and website.
The Week 3 Beach Watch results from July 18, 2022 showed that five of the six locations that submitted samples passed: Frink Park, Potter’s Beach, Wilson’s Beach, Scenic View Park and Round Island had acceptable swimming water quality standards below 235 colonies per 100 ml sample. TI Park Cove swimming area tested higher than normal for E. coli bacteria. There were 261 colonies of E. coli in the 100ml sample. Lake of the Isles, Wellesley Island and Oak Point, Hammond did not have samples submitted this week.
Save the River recommends closing the TI Park Cove swimming area until testing shows a return to normal levels. Save the River will collect another sample on Monday 7/25; results are anticipated within a few days of the test. Thank you for letting your residents know. We appreciate your partnership to keep our beaches safe for swimmers.
If a New York State swimming beach fails a water quality sample, the beach will close until it passes a resample test. However, Save The River monitors the Beach Watch program on a volunteer basis and has no authority to close the swimming areas we sample. The results are used to highlight areas of concern and inform landowners and stakeholders of potential health risks. When there is a situation of high bacteria, Save The River submits those results to local and state authorities for their use and action.
Beach Watch Volunteers collect samples on Monday morning. If you would like to learn more about this volunteer opportunity, contact Lauren Eggleston at firstname.lastname@example.org.