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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Updated: Evidence Points To Geese For Latest Bay Pollution

Fairhope, Alabama


Canada Geese at Magnolia Beach Thursday
UPDATE: The June 1st water sample tested 68, well below the 104 max.

BACTERIA LEVELS NOW SAFE

Since no sanitary sewage overflows were reported by city utilities, evidence is mounting the large flock of Canada geese (click) that arrived recently as the likely main source of the high beach bacteria readings beginning late last week after heavy rain days before; bacteria living in the sand itself may be another source based on an Auburn University study five years ago.

All clear now
The 637 (colonies/100ml of water) bacteria count sampled last Wednesday (May 24th) was the highest found since 2011 when 720 was measured (on June 9th of that year) according to historical data.

A resample Thursday (May 25th) found 245, still over the EPA limit of 104, so red warning signs were left posted over the holiday weekend.

By Tuesday (Monday was a holiday so nothing was done) levels had fallen to only 16 -- but increased to 80 Wednesday.

Results for the last sample taken June 1st have not been announced yet; it takes about 24 hours to perform the test.

(See the chart at bottom)


GEESE IMPLICATED BEFORE
Magnolia Beach Thursday

In June of 2015 a citizen walking on nearby Magnolia Beach encountered what he thought to be human excrement -- and his viral video -- click -- and hype on social media caused an uproar; but testing proved it to be animal in origin (click).


A SEASONAL PROBLEM?

A Times reporter encountered large flocks of geese at both the Magnolia and Municipal Park beaches Thursday afternoon: about 120 in all and their substantial excrement.

"Fecal matter" at Municipal Beach
Based upon the ADEM monitoring data and personal observation the bacteria problem peaks every May or June when the water warms and geese migrate; then subsides somewhat throughout the Summer.

Frequent mowing, keeping grass cut very short (less food) and collecting clippings (along with the poop) have been used by the city to address the problem; about two years ago a "goose laser" device was tested (it scares them away at night without doing harm - click).

In the Summer of 2008, the removal and euthanization of a number by the U.S. Wildlife Service caused another uproar and that has not been tried since -- click..

Some citizens have been very protective; see the geese as an attraction, enjoy feeding them and have even been known to give them names.




ADEM data as of 1AM Friday 




Thursday















24 comments:

Hank said...

This is where you have to decide what's more important. Clean water to swim in, or geese to look at. You can't have both.

Anonymous said...

Well we have been down this road before if the city would allow the use of chase dogs each morning an evening they will stop coming to the park.It has been done in several other cities around d the country an dI sure as hell don't trust ANY results of any state lab,see Forensic magazine monthly Nov edition 2011.A sixteen page exposed on how the dept was defined over 5 years,59 cases unsolved 37 capitol,at this weighting the city of Mobile has over 400 rape cases NOT tested as well as that many or more in Baldwin with several thousand through the state.So any thing reported MUST BE CALLED IN TO QUESTION

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can be potty trained to use the facilities there!

Anonymous said...

When you casually dismiss senior employees you lose their institutional memory about how to prepare and deal with problems such as these.

Anonymous said...

When you sell and develop every square inch of Baldwin county and disturb the natural order of the food chain this is what you get. I walk down there frequently and am much more offended by the smell of what is obviously raw sewage (human), motor oil and litter than a little goose poop.

One thing I never do is put any body part in the water.

Anyone who would step a toe in that bay, eat fish from there or swim in that nasty water is a fool.

Anonymous said...

My eyes just broke rolling back in my head. Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

The beach area is disgusting; I agree with those who have posted that they would not enter that water. When will our city council members address the problems with the sewer system? Putting their heads in the sand will not save Fairhope!
Also, I think that the city should raise the fees for those visitors who use the Fairhope beach. That money should be directly reinvested into cleaning the beach area. Dogs sound like a great idea to scare the geese to perhaps the other side of the bay. Just let us bring our dogs and let them run off leash for an hour or so each day and the geese will find a new place to hang out!

Anonymous said...

That's an idiotic comment. Let it go. Move on or better yet move away. Your close minded mentality is too narrow for our growing city. Snowflake.

Anonymous said...

Probably time to thin the herd.
http://www.outdooralabama.com/september-honkers-early-canada-goose-season

Anonymous said...

Build a wall to keep them out of here.

Anonymous said...

There would be a lot less excrement if someone wasn't dumping lbs of grain almost daily. I see a lady down there regularly open the back of her vehicle and start spreading grain/feed all over the park.

Anonymous said...

Sign me up

Anonymous said...

Fairhope test were sent to Auburn University and DNA test were done.

Anonymous said...

Dogs running wild in the park is a bad idea. Then we can deal with lots of dog poop all over the park

How about instead if the city post signs notifying people that feeding the wild animals is not allowed and then the police actually do their jobs and patrol the park. Police should write tickets in the park to any one that litters, vandalizes benches and tables, or feeds the animals. Our parks are a mess, garbage strewn everywhere, people in cars drinking alcohol and doing drugs, without appropriate presence and much more proactive patrols by our Fairhope police force the parks will continue to get worse.

Anonymous said...

Ok people, let me start by saying that it is a "BAY" You are going to have migratory birds. The last that I saw there is a sign that says, "duck pond". I don't believe for one second that the bacteria is bird poop. I question the sample and what part it was taken from. I agree with the commenter that said that the human sewage is so bad and offensive. The bathroom is so bad and offensive it will take your breath. There are bays all over the world and Fairhope just uses the geese as an excuse instead of the human sewage and human error. Fairhope always blames anyone and anything They killed the geese years back and you see how that worked. Fairhope prides itself as "animal friendly", also holding "earth day'" events. A bunch of hypocrites iand billy bobs n my opinion.

Hank said...

Sure, you're going to have migratory birds but if you reduce their food source, they will go away. Growing up here, we had about a dozen mallards and a goose or two. Poop was never a problem. Now, we have lots of big geese and few ducks. Big birds = big poop. Signs should be put up to advise visitors to stop feeding them. All of that bread is not good for their diet anyway.

Anonymous said...

I think the water test need to be done out of state with no ties to politics of Alabama. Neutral party.

Anonymous said...

No ties to auburn community college

Anonymous said...

Not true...... bread is not the problem, they are not coming for bread. They are resting as they are migrating. They do not stay long. I live near a pond and around September every year there will be about 50 in my yard. They rest a couple of days or week and leave, I'm not feeding them bread. Leave nature alone and let them do what they need to do. Fairhope has the money and truck to wash walkways . They should be doing that anyway. They ride around watering flowers. They leave less poop than the fish guts that people leave on the pier. It is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

There are signs or were that stated NOT to feed the birds.Yet it is NOT enforced and it is actually illegal to feed migratory water fowl as well alligators in this state.I agree with the post that the sample is NOT to be trusted especially if it was assembled by the city.Now as for dogs being used as chase determent.This is not just letting the dogs or any dog running loose.The use of a chase dog required a specific breed and is a trained animal.This system of corralling of sheep,cows,birds and other gatherings has been used for decades and is used at many airports for bird abatement for aircraft safety.So if a group of just two to four dogs trained to work together is extremely effective.If a person shows up with load of feed as previously posted REPORT it.Now it will be a question if the PD has the time and an officer available to respond is a different story.So if the Mayor can fend off all of the new lawsuits and get her head out of the proverbial cloud then maybe a walking police patrol(auxiliary or part time) would be in order as done years ago(if the budget isn't exasted)at the pier as when the park situation was out of control years ago.The city now has an extended influx of new residences,and there are going to be changes,but they must be done with the city in mind NOT PERSONAL agendas,that are currently plaguing the council especially with the new mayor.as for all of the new residence this is FAIRHOPE not Chicago,Detroit,NY,LA,or NO.It's a town that has a very eclectic existence.If it is like and loved so much to move here,be here,but it WILL NOT be like the other cities any where else.So WELCOME TO SWEET HOME ALABAMA ...so many snow birds so little freezer space.

Anonymous said...

The person with the snow bird comment. The snow birds as you say keep this town going. The freezer comment sounds as if you need therapy. Sounds like hate.

Anonymous said...

The city should install environmental controls to prevent pollution from the park property. If not, why not abandon the sewage treatment plant? Pollution is pollution, regardless of the source.

Anonymous said...

When we sold our house we received a water bill for 600 dollars. 😳 I called and the response was that the meter had been faulty and they fixed it. This was what they said that I owed while it was broken. I was receiving bills and the bills were normal until we moved. I disputed the bill and ended up paying 150. I question the truthfulness in the whole thing as I told them the meter was the cities property and not ours with that said city is responsible to make sure that it works properly. I do not believe that it was broken I personally think they saw an opportunity to make money. The timing and probably thought no one would dispute it. It took a lot of my time and effort to get it straightened out and I still think that I paid too much. Not trustworthy in my opinion

Anonymous said...


1 goose generates 1.0 - 1.5 lb. of droppings per day. Multiply that by +100 birds.

Yesterday, the beach was covered with it.