Suffolk County announced Friday that a dozen beaches have been closed due to unsafe levels of bacteria in the water.
These include Benjamin’s Beach in Bay Shore, West Islip Beach in West Islip, Amityville Village Beach in Amityville, Tanner Park Beach in Copiague, Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst, Sound Beach POA East and West in Sound Beach and Broadway Beach, Friendship Drive Beach, Beech Road Beach, Terraces on the Sound, and Tides Beach POA, all in Rocky Point.
Bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can lead to gastrointestinal disorders and infections of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, said Suffolk Health Commissioner Gregson Pigott.
The beaches will reopen when tests show the bacteria have subsided to acceptable levels.
On Thursday, swimming was not recommended on 82 beaches on the island as the remains of devastating Storm Ida may have contaminated them by releasing feces into rainwater, officials said at the time.
And five days earlier, a total of 81 beaches were on that list of cautions, even after a heavy rain.
Ida also arranged for 24 of New York’s water treatment plants to discharge sewage mixed with rainwater from Thursday lunchtime, the environmental protection agency said. This problem is one of the main causes of the low oxygen levels in western Long Island Sound, according to scientists.
About 70% of Suffolk has no sewers, and rainwater runoff – which occurs when the soil cannot hold all of the rainwater – carries sewage from leaking cesspools and treatment plants, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and debris into the sewers, increasing the concentration of bacteria. Animal waste can be another important source.
For the latest information on the affected Suffolk beaches, call the beach hotline at 631-852-5822, contact the Department of Ecology at 631-852-5760 during normal business hours, or visit the Suffolk County Health Department. Beach surveillance website.
In Nassau, you can get the latest recorded information on beach openings and closings at 516-227-9700.
For a state interactive map with beach closings and notices, see ny.healthinspections.us/ny_beaches/.
With Robert Brodsky