The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Seagulls Behind the Pewaukee Beach Closures?

Health, Safety, Pewaukee

Are gulls beach party-poopers?


Local official says E. coli in lake may be caused by seagulls


Village of Pewaukee — Charlie Shong of the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District readily admits sewage was dumped by the district due to heavy rains last month, but he also doubts that is the cause of the poor water quality that has led to Village Beach on Pewaukee Lake being closed for the last two weeks.


The counts of E. coli in the water remain high and could alter the plans for the annual triathlon this Sunday.


Shong, superintendent of the LPSD, suspects the cause of the high E. coli counts was due to Mother Nature's feathered friends.  Shong said he thinks that seagulls, ducks and geese are the culprits.


Last month, the LPSD pumped 120,000 gallons of untreated sewage into a wetland behind the district office off of Oak Street in the City of Pewaukee.  Shong said he does not think that what the district pumped into those wetlands got to the beach because of the way the wetlands drain.  He has suggested to the Pewaukee Park and Recreation Department that a DNA test be done to determine whether the E. coli is from animals or people.


Shong said Tuesday there are a lot of birds on the beach and noted when he drives by the beach he sees dozens of seagulls.  A reporter counted more than 170 gulls on the beach late Tuesday morning.


"The E. coli has nothing to do with us," Shong said.


Shong cited a study done nearly 10 years ago that showed seagulls were responsible for closing a Milwaukee beach.


That study, by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher Sandra McLellan, found that birds were the major source of E. coli at South Shore Beach in Milwaukee. McLellan is a scientist with the UWM Great Lakes Water Institute.


Other bacteria from streets and farms that wash downstream, along with raw sewage dumping that occurs in heavy rainstorms, may also play a role, she said at the time.


That study was done in 2001 and did not find any E. coli linked to other animals or humans. McLellan, who is out of town and could not be reached for comment, continues to study water pollution in Lake Michigan, according to an assistant at the institute.



The Department of Natural Resources and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District cosponsored the $96,000 research project nine years ago as high E. coli readings led to numerous closings of the beach.


The Pewaukee beach has been closed since June 24.  The Pewaukee Park and Recreation Department does not keep records on the beach being closed but director Kelly Woldanski said closings due to E. coli are rare and typically only for a day.  In 2008, the beach was closed for an extended period, but because of blue-green algae.


Shong has suggested to Woldanski that a DNA analysis be done to determine who or what is causing the E. coli at Pewaukee Beach.  Woldanski said Tuesday she agreed that such an analysis should be done and will discuss the matter with village officials to see whether it should be pursued.


Source: MJS Living Lake Country


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