Report examines city beach water quality monitoring

THE BRONX - The city monitors the water quality at Bronx beaches each summer and one recent report says the city is doing a good job but points out shortcomings in the process.

A National Resources Defense Council report examines how often beaches are shut down due to high bacteria levels. According to the report, Manhem Beach had the highest percentage of times bacteria levels exceeded the public health standards at 17 percent. Orchard Beach had the second highest rate with 15 percent.

The city monitored beaches once a week for 24 weeks last summer. According to a representative from the NRDC, the city is doing a good job, but there are a few shortfalls.

The NRDC says it takes 24 hours to get results from the monitoring tests, which means people may have been swimming in bacteria-infested water for a full day. It says the city does not automatically require beaches to close or issue a health advisory when beach water does exceed public health standards.

The NRDC also says the standards for issuing health advisories date back to the 1980s, and that it is unclear whether the standards are adequately protective today.

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