Beach water quality report raises red flags

THE BRONX - A water quality report that was released Tuesday by the Natural Resource Council has some Bronx beachgoers concerned for their health.

According to the report, 5 percent of the water samples that have been collected at Orchard Beach in the Bronx in the course of 20 weeks exceeded the public health standards for bacteria.

?Hopefully, they'll be able to address the issues and clean it up so we can keep enjoying the beach,? says Aida Cintron, who brings her daughter Riana to the beach every week.

Orchard Beach was not the only one to get rated by the NRC. Nine other private beach clubs around the Bronx were also tested.

Unlike the private clubs, however, Orchard Beach was never shut down due to high levels of bacteria, sewage or rainfall.

But, not all Bronx beachgoers are alarmed by the water condition.

?I never found any problems,? says Michelle Feurtado, of the Bronx. ?Sometimes it even feels like I'm in the Caribbean because it's nice and warm and comforting.?

Officials say the New York Department of Health tests the quality of local water about once a week, and the results of the tests are posted at four comfort stations along the shore.

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