Pomeroy beach among dirtiest in state

Wendy, who belongs to Dian and Fred Pfundt, frolics on Pomeroy Beach, which was ranked as one of the worst in Washington state. - Kaitlin Stroschein/Staff Photo
Wendy, who belongs to Dian and Fred Pfundt, frolics on Pomeroy Beach, which was ranked as one of the worst in Washington state.
— image credit: Kaitlin Stroschein/Staff Photo

Heal the Bay, an environmental organization based in California, gave Pomeroy Park at the Port of Manchester a failing grade for cleanliness in its annual End of Summer Beach Report Card.

The group based the grade on bacteria levels recorded during routine monitoring of the beach by local health agencies from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010.

“The better the grade a beach receives, the lower the risk of illness to beach users,” according to Heal the Bay’s website.

According the results, Pomeroy was one of the three dirtiest beaches in Washington state.

Pomeroy Park’s poor results may have been caused by dirty water emptying from a storm pipe onto the public beach, said Jim Zimny, a senior environmental health specialist with Kitsap County’s Health Department.

The stormwater gets contaminated by “everything that comes off the yards,” Zimny said.

The technical term for the runoff is “non-point pollution,” since its exact sources can’t be traced.

But it can generally be attributed to bacteria sources found in dog feces, deer feces, sewer overflow, fertilizer and the like, Zimny explained.

Last summer, only two of the Health Department’s approximately 100 bacteria sampling events yielded results dirty enough to shut the beach to swimmers.

“Most of the time, the water’s pretty clean,” Zimny said.

Manchester resident Dave Kimble disagrees.

“A month ago,” he recalled, “I saw a local church with 150 church members on the beach baptizing a dozen souls during the beach closure within the location of the dirty stormwater outfall.

“A sign, ” Kimble said, “was, in fact, posted saying the beach was a health hazard. I was astounded.”

Steve Pedersen, one of the port’s three commissioners invited locals to share their concerns, ideas and suggestions at the Port’s upcoming meetings.

The Port of Manchester’s monthly port commissioner’s meeting is scheduled on Monday, October 11, at 6 p.m. at the Manchester Library.

The Port Advisory Committee and Port of Manchester plan to meet on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Manchester Library, to discuss ideas for the regular monthly meeting on Oct. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Manchester Library.

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