As the busy month of July comes to a close, the Lake George Association has completed its second round of testing of public beaches around the Lake for harmful bacterial levels as part of our scientific monitoring regimen, which helps the LGA ensure Lake George water quality is protected.
As with earlier scientific sampling (which the LGA started following the discovery of elevated bacterial levels at Million Dollar Beach in 2016 and 2017), the spot testing on July 17 and 18 of six well-used public beaches around Lake George found that according to New York State standards, all of the beaches at that time were safe for swimming and other recreation.
The scientific monitoring of public beaches around the Lake for harmful fecal bacteria in the water follows on a protocol developed last season and used at six beaches: Hague Town Beach, Ticonderoga Public Beach, Gull Bay Beach, Huletts Park Beach, Veterans Memorial Park Beach in Bolton, and Fort Ann Beach.
As you may know, Usher Park beach in the Town of Lake George and Shepard Park beach in the Village of Lake George are monitored separately by the Town and Village.
“We are pleased to again report that in all cases, the water we tested was safe for recreational use,” said Walt Lender, Executive Director of the Lake George Association. “While the LGA is concerned about the Lake all year, the summer tourist season is the economic lifeblood of our communities. No one wants a potential concern over the water conditions to keep people away. ”
Meanwhile, the work to find the continuing source of E. coli bacteria at Million Dollar Beach in the Town of Lake George continues. DEC has already closed the beach this year because of a spike in their regular testing.
E .coli is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of birds and mammals. According to New York State, most E. coli are not harmful to human health. However, some strains are, and E. coli is a reliable indicator of public health risks due to potentially pathogenic bacteria at freshwater beaches.
New York State DEC has released a report that updates the work completed last year to determine the sources of the E. coli spikes. You can find that report here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/109877.html
The investigation continues this summer with the partnership that includes the Town of Lake George and Village of Lake George, Lake George Association, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Lake Champlain/Lake George Regional Planning Board, New York State Department of Health, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, Warren County Department of Public Works, Lake George Waterkeeper, and Lake George Park Commission.
At least two more rounds of beach testing by Lake George Association staff members are being planned for this summer.
Lake George Association protects Lake George water every day. Made possible by our members and donors, the LGA’s actions support water quality protection, scientific monitoring, education and lake friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.