WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – Westchester County’s beaches on the Long Island Sound were ranked the fourth-highest in New York for water samples that exceeded health standards last year, according to the National Resources Defense Council’s annual report.
After dropping to 24 out of 30 states in the previous year's report from the National Resources Defense Council on overall swimming-water quality, New York improved slightly to 22nd nationwide in this year's report. With 1,626 closing/advisory days that lasted six consecutive weeks or less, a 12 percent decrease from 1,841 days in 2011. The recorded disruptions were almost on par with the 956 days recorded in 2010, 1,775 days in 2009 and 1,610 days in 2008.
In 2012, New York reported 361 coastal beaches and beach segments, of which two were assigned a daily monitoring frequency, 36 were assigned monitoring more than once a week, 174 once a week, 57 every week, 89 once a month, and one was assigned monitoring less than once a month, the NRDC said, adding that two were not assigned a monitoring frequency.
The beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates of the daily maximum standard in 2012 were:
• Shore Acres Club in Mamaroneck (50 percent) • Main Street Beach in Chautauqua County (35 percent) • Surf Club in New Rochelle (35 percent) • Ontario Beach (33 percent) and Hamlin Beach (30 percent) in Monroe County
Monroe County had the highest exceedance rate of the daily maximum standard in 2012 (28 percent), followed by Chautauqua (18 percent), the Bronx (15 percent), Westchester (14 percent), Niagara (14 percent), Wayne (13 percent), Jefferson (11 percent), Richmond (8 percent), Queens (7 percent), Suffolk (7 percent), Erie (6 percent), Nassau (6 percent), Cayuga (5 percent), Kings (5 percent), and Oswego (1 percent).
For the 854 events lasting six consecutive weeks or less, 68 percent (1,092) of closing/advisory days were preemptive due to heavy rainfall, 38 percent (612) were due to monitoring that revealed elevated bacteria levels, 1 percent (10) were preemptive based on the results of computer modeling, and less than 1 percent (6) were preemptive due to other reasons.
The Natural Resources Defense Council releases its “Testing the Waters” report annually.
To read the full report on New York, click here .