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River bacteria remain mystery page 3
State and local government officials, along with residents, gather at Fairview Beach to try to figure out what's causing water contamination

Date published: 9/21/2012

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Group members talked about drain fields serving the trailer park, and Thompson was surprised to learn that several are still in use. He thought none were.

There are 28 trailers in the park and 12 are on county water and sewer. They apparently connected illegally some time ago, and the county's Service Authority didn't know about them until it did smoke tests to see if any of its pipes were leaking and causing the bacteria problem.

The current trailer park owners eventually paid for the connections to county utilities, said Chris Thomas, Service Authority general manager.

UNEXPLAINABLE HOT SPOTS

When Cover reported results from testing he and Harrover did, he found some hot spots near the drain pipe in question, but he also found high numbers of bacteria in the water near several other streets not connected to the pipe.

And, he often found higher levels near the shoreline than where the water was chest-high.

"There were many spots we couldn't explain," he said.

Cover did point out that owners of the restaurant, store and trailer park had complied with varied requests to run dye through sewer lines to see if the colored substance ended up in the river.

None did.

Likewise, Shrewsbury said the Service Authority had committed its resources to the contamination problem, even though the majority of trailers aren't on the county system.

Supervisor John LoBuglio, whose district includes Fairview Beach, said he was glad to see varied groups around the table.

"It's not just one person's problem," he said.

Cover also was grateful that Jennifer Carlson from the DEQ's Woodbridge office called the meeting.

"I never knew there was so much interest in Fairview Beach," he said.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Email: cdyson@freelancestar.com


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