Update on Water Quality Testing at the City Beach

(PLATTSBURGH, NY - Wednesday July 20, 2022) - As summer temperatures soar, many residents and tourists are utilizing our city’s beach as a means to stay cool and enjoy the weather. As of the issue of this press release, the Plattsburgh City Beach is open and has seen no issues with water quality. The City would like to issue a statement on water testing protocol and how beach closures are communicated so the public can stay informed and stay safe.

Protocol for Water Testing

The City conducts different types of testing to help understand river and lake water quality to protect public health and the environment. Most of the tests are microbiological and include periodic bacteria samples from the beach to make sure it meets Department of Health standards, wastewater treatment plant effluent to ensure disinfection is effective, river and lake bacterial sampling post heavy rainfall, and drinking water systems for bacterial and chlorine to ensure drinking water is effectively disinfected. 

City Beach Water Testing

Per protocols prescribed by the Clinton County Health Department, City staff test the water quality at the city beach every two weeks throughout the duration of the beach being open to the public (May-September). Results can take up to three days. Regardless of any reports of harmful contaminants and/or associated closures of nearby beaches, daily observations at the City’s beach are made by City staff for algae blooms, storm run-off, or other unnatural changes in the water quality.  If something concerning is observed, City Staff will contact CCHD, CCHD staff will conduct an onsite assessment, and, if suspected harmful algae or other hazardous contaminants are observed, CCHD will instruct the City to close the beach to all swimming until subsequent water testing confirms that the contaminant is no longer present.

Communication Protocol for Beach Closures

In the event that the beach needs to be closed for a water quality related issue or any other reason, the City will post an alert on the city’s website (www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov). The City will also issue a press release and post an announcement on its social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). 

Residents should always check the City’s website for the most up to date information regarding closures and updates. Residents are able to sign up for an email notification whenever alerts are posted by clicking on the “login” button underneath the search bar on the website’s Home Page. Residents can also call the Community Development office at 518-563-7642 between the hours of Mon-Fri from 8AM to 4PM to speak with City Staff.