Bacteria swimming at Lake Auburn beach | News

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Bacteria swimming at Lake Auburn beach

AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Recorded E. coli levels at Lake Auburn's Outlet Beach are ten times the EPA recommended levels, according to a recent report.

An environmental engineer found high levels of E. coli and enterococci bacteria at the pond used for public swimming.

The EPA recommends E. coli levels between 100-126 units per 100 mililiters. Some of the readings on the Lake Auburn beach were higher than 1,000 units per 100mL, as recently as October 2012.

For enterococci, the EPA recommends between 30-35 units per 100mL, and some of those readings were higher than 1,000 units, as well.

The city commissioned the report after a bathing advisory was issued due to bacteria levels last summer.

City officials said drinking water from Lake Auburn has not been affected. Water from Lake Auburn flows in to the Outlet Beach, but beach water does not flow back in to the lake.

The report outlines potential pollutant sources and treatments.

It states the park's proximity to Route 4, stagnant water, and beach erosion could be causing the elevated levels of bacteria.

Some of the recommended treatments, which include shoreline restoration and runoff treatment, could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

City Manager Clint Deschene said the report has not been finalized, and the treatment figures are subject to change.

He expects the report to be finalized for the city council's review later in the month.

City councilors will have to decide which water quality treatment, if any, will be implemented.

The city of Auburn has been leasing the land from the Auburn Water and Sewerage Districts to maintain the public park.



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