The ecological condition of Long Island's ground water has reached a crisis point. Year by year the algal blooms grow more intense and pervasive, with brown tides erasing more habitats, with contaminated waters closing more and more acres to shellfishing, and with more and more beaches closed to swimming for longer and longer periods.
You really don't need a crystal ball for this prediction: Tropical Storm Andrea will dump up to three inches of rain on Long Island Friday into Saturday. That rain will in turn wash septic water into our rivers, streams, ponds, and bays, and with that will force the closure of a number of Long Island beaches over this coming weekend. These days, a good downpour brings many millions of gallons of contaminated, septic water from the land to the water. With over 100,000 septic tanks in Suffolk County, when it rains our waters suffer. The bacteria counts explode and our beaches become hazards. The water literally becomes dangerous to be in. So as night follows day, a heavy rain will close the beaches. The same thing happened on Memorial Day Weekend. Heavy rains, it was reported, closed the following beaches: