ROCKLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The City of Rockland has a park problem, which may actually be a dog problem. Snow Marine Park is a large, open park and boat launch in Rockland's South End. The city's Pollution Control director, Terry Pinto, says Maine DEP water quality tests found very high levels of the E. coli bacteria from two pipes running into the harbor at the park. The highest levels, he says, were from a culvert that only drains the park itself. With no other source in sight, Pinto says the large number of dogs playing in the park must to be the source of the contamination.
"I'm recommending the park be posted," says Pinto. He says the high level of the bacteria is dangerous. He says they are evaluating the best ways to reduce dog waste in the park, potentially by banning dogs altogether, or restricting them to certain periods of time.
Pinto says the high E. coli levels in the park water aren't a risk to swimmers because people don't usually swim there. However, he says many people launch boats and kayaks at the park, and some keep their boats on moorings there, so there are plenty of opportunities for them to come in contact with the contaminated water.