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Long IslandSuffolk

Vandalism leads to sewage spill, bathing ban at Centerport beach

Swimmers on Wednesday were warned against bathing at Centerport Yacht Club Beach after sewage leaked from a vandalized pump-out station in Northport Harbor, officials said.

Suffolk health officials said “a relatively small amount of sewage” was discharged to surface waters, adding that they issued the advisory because of the potential that bacterial numbers could exceed state standards.

Further sampling will be conducted Thursday, health officials said in a news release.

A.J. Carter, spokesman for the Town of Huntington, said someone vandalized the pump-out station, which the town previously had taken out of service because of a malfunction.

“The town took it out of service while waiting for a part to come in,” Carter said. He said the town had wrapped the malfunctioning pump, which he said resembles a gas pump, in plastic, including the nozzle, and put an “out of service” sign on it.

But, Carter said, “somebody took a knife to tear off the plastic wrap so they could take the nozzle and pump out their boat. But since the hose was missing a piece,” he said, an undetermined amount of refuse was released into the harbor.

Carter asked anyone who knows about the vandalism to contact the town’s public safety department at 631-351-3167, or call Northport Village police.

Separately, other beaches in the county that previously were closed due to elevated bacteria levels and which remain closed, are: Tanner Park Beach and Copiague Harbor Beach in Copiague; Lake Ronkonkoma in the Town of Islip; and Benjamin Beach in Bay Shore.

For the latest on beach closings, call Suffolk’s water quality beach hotline at 631-852-5822.

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