Submitted by ub on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 21:01

The Westchester County Health Department has banned swimming at 10 Westchester County beaches on Long Island Sound because of bacteria carried by storm-water from rain.

Those beaches are listed below:

Harbor Island Park, Beach Point Club, Mamaroneck Beach and

Yacht Club, Shore Acres and Orienta Club in Mamaroneck

Hudson Park, Echo Bay Club, Davenport Club, and Greentree

Club in New Rochelle Coveleigh Club in Rye

The Health Department closed those beaches as a preemptive measure for one day whenever it rains at least half an inch within 24 hours. If it rains more than an inch, they remain closed for two days.

The problem is caused largely by cracked and broken sewer pipes in the communities in the Sound’s watershed in Westchester. Stormwater infiltrates the pipes and forces out sewage before it can reach treatment plants. The sewage-laden stormwater then flows into local waterways toward the Sound and its harbors and beaches. Stormwater also washes pollutants off local streets and into the waterways that flow toward the Sound.

Save the Sound is conducting a pilot project this summer to identify storm sewers that might be leaking bacteria-laden water into the Mamaroneck River in Mamaroneck Village. When we identify a problem site, we’ll let the Village know so it can address the issue.

But the problem extends far beyond Mamaroneck. All the communities in the Sound’s watershed have sewers that need repair, including White Plains, Harrison, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Port Chester, Rye, Mamaroneck Town and Village, Larchmont and New Rochelle.