LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – People are allowed to go in the water at Million Dollar Beach on Tuesday and officials hope it stays that way.
The on and off again closure of the popular spot has confused many over the years, including officials trying to find what is leading to the ongoing E. coli contamination in the water.
“They blame the ducks, then they blamed the diapers, then they blamed the dogs. The beach is closed half the time now in the early season. It’s not fair,” Todd said.
In the past, the DEC noted an unusually high number of geese, ducks and seagulls in the area as a possible source of contamination.
After more testing they found another cause.
“Once we started with the E.Coli, we determined that the serious problem was from human waste,” Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said.
Last week, a village crew conducting cameras underground on sewer pipes found that one pipe near the Garrison Restaurant was broken.
“National Grid came in and jacked a gas line across the road and went right through the middle of our sewer pipe,” Dickinson said.
It didn’t rip through just any sewer pipe. Dickinson says it was a “major line for the sewer district so it has a lot of sewage flow per diem.”
Dickinson says sewage from the broken pipe was running into the storm drain and into the lake.
“I truthfully think this is probably a dominant contributor to the problem.”
Others aren’t so convinced.
“It might be part of the problem but it’s not the whole problem,” Todd said.
Dickinson says there is still an issue with E. coli where the West Brook enters the lake. They are baffled as to what’s causing it but old pipes might be the issue there.
The DEC issued this statement:
“DEC has been working closely with the town and village of Lake George and all environmental stakeholders to actively investigate the source of E.coli contamination near Million Dollar Beach. As part of the thorough joint investigation, a break in a sewer line was detected and has been repaired. DEC will continue to investigate and closely monitor all discharge points and local infrastructure to ensure public health and the environment are protected. Ongoing daily sampling continues to show bacteria levels in the swimming area are well below safe standards.”
Nathan Stone from National Grid provided this statement:
“A service pipe was run from our main to the Garrison Restaurant on September 19, 2016. A contractor ran the pipe through the sewage line; after our own internal assessment, it was concluded that all proper procedures were followed. When this was brought to our attention last week, we moved the service away from the sewage line and repairs were made. There was no evidence of leakage at the spot, and readings of contamination of the water directly at the end of Beach Road read “0” for contamination and continue to read so at that spot.”