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Seneca Lake beach cleared for swimming following sewage release

The waters at Seneca Lake State Park have been deemed clean enough for swimming.

The state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation reopened the beach Tuesday. Results of the testing were posted, and the beach was declared “clear after resample.”

An Aug. 2 sample prior to the recent spill indicated acceptable levels of E. coli at 133 colonies per 100 milliliters, which is below the state maximum of 235 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters. The presence of E. coli in water is a strong indication of recent sewage or animal waste contamination.

The beach, which has no lifeguards this year because of a lack of workers, closed Sunday after the park learned of the discharge of an estimated 5,000 gallons of untreated sewage in a creek that empties into Seneca Lake. The discharge happened early Friday morning, when a pipe pumping raw sewage into the Marsh Creek Wastewater Treatment Plan on Doran Avenue failed.

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