Shore Acres in Mamaroneck Exceeds Bacterial Standards, Says NRDC

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The Shore Acres Club in Mamaroneck had one of the highest percentages of bacteria in water samples in a recent 2012 beach water quality report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Of the samples that exceeded New York State standards, typically only 10% of samples monitored exceeded safety standards, but 32% of those at Shore Acres were contaminated. The daily maximum bacterial standard is 104 colonies of  bacteria per 100 ml for marine beaches and 235 colonies per 100 ml for freshwater beaches– a standard that many environmental groups say is  too low to really protect beach goers from waterborne illnesses.  According to the NRDC, the federal standard is currently being revised by the EPA, but the proposed new limits would still “make it acceptable for 1 in 28 swimmers to become ill.” Environmental groups say that preventing waterborne illness would require a stricter, health-based standard and also much stronger methods to control polluted storm water runoff, which is generally recognized as the number one source of beach water contamination. Solutions to the runoff problem, known as “green infrastructure,” could help to diminish the runoff before it causes problems, but the data show such measures are not stopping the polluted runoff as yet.