Beach tests show lake water purity improved

LAKE GEORGE - Village officials and employees continued to work this week with the staff of Darrin Freshwater Institute and the state Health Department to identify potential sources of recent bacterial contamination of Shepard Park Beach, abate the problem, and reopen the beach to the public.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said Monday that recent quality tests of lake water at the beach have shown substantial improvement over a week earlier, which had continued to show contamination above state limits since the sewer line rupture that occurred July 5 at the beach

The water purity, Blais said, has improved substantially with test readings very similar to those taken over the past two years while the beach was open. There has been no indication of any remaining sewage leaks in the area, he said.

As of Friday, however, people walking along the beach reported a lingering odor of sewage, although test results were dramatically improved.

The Village of Lake George has examined all its sewer lines by the lake, the conduits within the pump station building beside the beach, and storm drains in the vicinity of the park. C.T. Male Associates, the Village's engineering firm, has also conducted independent testing and have found no evidence of further deficiencies.

"Our lines have been inspected by camera and dye-tested, repairs made to the broken pipe, and the readings are comparable to the past two years of operation," Mayor Blais said. "The results are similar to other open beach readings taken in 2008 and we expect should be adequate to re-open unless Department of Health's tests prove otherwise."

The village also received a report from the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association indicating the break was likely caused by a pressure differential created to the close proximity of two 90 bends, resulting in cavitation in a pipe lateral. The Village is in the process of taking corrective action by redesigning the pipe configuration.

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