Updated 08/07/2009 05:55 AM
Lake George, bacteria beach
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LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- This sign here tells part of the story. Shepard Park Beach is closes. And the reason why is baffling local officials.
A month after a sewage leak spilled about 10,000 gallons of waste on to the beach, park officials still don't know what's causing tests to show such high counts of bacteria.
"We're looking for total coliform and fecal coliform," said Brett D'Arco a research assistant at the Darrin Freshwater Institute.
About two weeks ago, a private company affiliated with RPI took over the testing because it became too costly and too time consuming for the Department of Health.
"We were doing 15 samples every other day for probably two weeks," said David Harrington, Superintendent of Public Works.
At $50 per test, that's a bill the village will have to pay.
"We've got a few hundred dollars invested in sampling right now, maybe even close to $1,000 at this point," said Harrington.
And recently, they've been seeing a lot of unexplainable spikes in the levels of bacteria.
One reason could be all the rain and this drain right here.
Even though the public works department works hard to keep the streets and parks clean, trash and chemicals can find their way into the runoff.
"That set us back a little bit but it is something that normally happens," said Harrington.
Harrington says he hope the levels of bacteria will come down. Otherwise, the beach cannot reopen.