Bacteria-Laden Waters Leave New York Swimmers Sweating

orchard Bacteria Laden Waters Leave New York Swimmers Sweating

Orchard beach was deemed clean enough for swimming this weekend, but not by much. (dandeluca, flickr)

The heatwave this weekend pushed many New Yorkers to their local pools and beaches, but unfortunately, some destinations were too befouled for bathing.

McCarren Pool suffered yet another embarrassing incident on Saturday when swimmers were evacuated for the day due to “unsanitary conditions,” Gothamist reported. And we all know what that means. The incident marks the second time in a month that the pool was cleared for unsanitary conditions. In mid-July, McCarren was briefly shut down after a diaper malfunction. Oh, McCarren. You were supposed to unite two neighborhoods, rich and poor, old-timers and youngsters. Now you’re just the most expensive toilet in the city.

But McCarren wasn’t the only place to suffer the shame of unswimmable waters this weekend. Two Bronx beaches were also closed after high bacteria counts cleared the water, DNAinfo reports.

The Danish American Beach Club on Eastchester Bay and West Fordham Street Association beach on Pelham Bay both tested positive for elevated levels of bacteria in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency’s limit of 104 particles in a 100 milliliter sample. Water containing enough bacteria to infect one in 28 swimmers is considered “safe” for recreation, according to the EPA. The Danish American club had a not too disgusting 126 particles in its sample, which is not so awful, but West Fordham Street had a cess-pool like 282 particles.

Nearby Orchard Beach, also on Pelham Bay, was however, deemed safe with a count in the high 80s. Coney Island and Rockaway fared far, far better.

It remains to be seen whether the region’s beaches will have a better year than they did last year, when the New York-New Jersey area has the fourth-highest rate in the U.S. for exceeding the national recommended daily standard for bacteria, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

kvelsey@observer.com