Lake George Beach – or as absolutely everyone knows it, Million Dollar Beach – will safely reopen this season after a not-so-great bout with unsafe bacteria levels last summer determined to come from sewage waste. The good news, aside from safe, now-clean water, is the beach will reopen with some new amenities also – lighting, a new entrance and another entrance through which people can enter the beach. It opens May 27.
“The first thing to consider is the health and safety of the public,” said Bob Stegemann, regional director for the DEC’s Region 5. “These are all good moves to improve the experience at Lake George for the public.”
After detecting bacterial contamination during a regular water testing by the DEC last summer, the beach was closed for further testing, Stegemann said.
“We did an extensive evaluation of all the sources it could be,” he said. “Testing showed it was, in fact, human waste so it suggests sewer.”
DEC conducted video inspections of all DEC owned sewer lines and the Lake George Association and Town investigated the storm sewer system. There was also an extensive study of whether it had been waste from waterfowl or whether wet weather contributed. DEC continues to monitor both reducing waste from waterfowl and storm water management.
If you have some time, read the entire DEC pollution source investigation report here.
Also unveiled with the opening of the beach next week will be $33,000 in improvements to lighting and access and extended hours, part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to making DEC facilities more accessible.
The additions are part of $6 million in improvements to the beach that started with paving to help improve the storm water runoff. The walkway lighting was requested because it was too dark in front of the beach house area. And the gate was added to the west side of the beach fence to improve public access to the beach. It was “out of sight, out of mind,” Stegemann said, and people thought they had to pay to use the beach because there was a parking fee.
“The gate will make access to the beach easier for people from town,” he said.
Photo: Lake George Beach road.