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Lewes, Delaware
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November 14, 2006     Cape Gazette
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November 14, 2006
 

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I Ii % Surfers Continued from page 1 spurred by something in the water. It's almost like a sinus infection with a yellow, mucus discharge. It wasn't like a cold - something, triggered it." Scan Wood a 29-year-old Rehoboth surfer, said he, too, fell ill after hitting the beach recently. For about five hours Nov. 9, Wood surfed near Grenoble place in front of the Henlopen Hotel, he said. "It was some of the best waves I've ever seen on Grenoble," said Wood. "I woke up that night probably like 3 a.m. with concrete sinus. There was a lot of pressure, not just like a runny nose. I had chills and a fever. By the time I woke up in the morning, the fever was gone. I just want to know what's draining out of that pipe. Is it storm water from the street? I don't know what the solution is. Let's raise public awareness. I don't know who's fault it is, I just want to get it out there that some- thing's making us sick." Pete Goldberg, 29, another surfer from Breezewood, said he is still sick after surfing Nov. 8. "You can see the water rushing out of it, as the waves come and go back. It looks like green slime, sewage. It definitely doesn't look like water. It's funky looking. There are suds in it. It's gross," said Goldberg. Later on the evening of Nov. 8, Goldberg said he had a sore throat and head cold. 'Tm still pretty sick. I've basically had this since I woke up Thursday morning." None of the men sought med- ical treatment. "I'm just curious as to what's coming out of the pipe. It looks gnarly. Why isn't there a sign, especially since it's somewhere where we surf. The town of Rehoboth has all their rules and regulations. That's something I figure they'd be on top of." Pollution problems In April, an unidentified, milky, white substance was found float- ing in Lake Gerar. After officials tested the water, they found pH levels to be acceptable, but the origin and toxicity of the sub- stance was undetermined. In July, hundreds of shad washed belly-up along the shores of Silver Lake, which were killed because of algae bloom, causing low oxygen levels in the water. Rehoboth officials promptly cleaned-up the mess, however, one scientist said the bloom could have been caused by pesticide runoff. In Rehoboth, 622 storm drains empty into the canal, the ocean, Silver Lake and Lake Gerar. Volunteer groups, including Save Our Lakes Alliance 3 members have been marking city storm drains to raise awareness, although the water bodies, while known as fresh water lakes, are actually storm drain reservoirs. It is illegal to knowingly dump toxins into the drains, although catching culprits is next to impos- sible, say officials. Scientist says lake better Todd Fritchman, who owns Lewes-based Envirotech Environmental Consulting Inc., has been hired by city officials in the past to clean up area lakes. He said tests from Nov. 8 revealed a healthier ecosystem. "We just had a biological assessment on Lake Gerar and a generalized water quality analy- sis. What we found was seven dif- ferent genus' of beneficial aquat- ic, macro-invertebrates - that means you can see them with the naked eye - some of which were bio-indicators of sound water quality. If something was really wrong with the water, we would- n't have found those critters. That doesn't leave out some type of bacteria that infected these surfers," said Fritchman. In addi- tion, he said a strong and growing fish population conf'Lrms a healthy water body. Water visibility and clarity has "improved drastical- ly," he said. Nor did Fritchman find the water oily or odorous. "But wehaven't tested for any bacteria, e coli, or microscopic parasites," he said. CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, November 14 - Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 13 Rehoboth Beach City Manager Greg Ferrese was unavailable for comment at press time. Center for Inland Bays out- reach coordinator Sally Boswell said, "Certainly there's the poten- tial for bacteria in that type of water, but I can't speculate. I know that a lot of work has been done to decrease geese popula- tion. There was other concern about people putting things in the lake," she said. "The only thing that could be done is to test the water on the lake side and see what they could find," Boswell said. In the meantime, Mark Carter, local chairman of the Surfrider chapter, has circulated an email warning potential surfers. Surfriders is a national nature and water conservancy organization that also has an ocean sickness complaint section on its website. Carter said he has also contact- ed Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Kevin Donnelly, director of DNREC'S Division of Water Resources, did not return calls at press time. "This is not the first time this happened this season," said Dano Hamer, 25, of Rehoboth. "Last spring, I got horribly sick with a sinus infection and an aching jaw," he said. "You've got all these restau- rants, which bleach out their kitchens, which washes into the water." Kevln Spence photo Scan Wood, a 29-year-old Rehoboth surfer, said he became sick after surfing by Grenoble Place where a pipe empties water from Lake Gerar into the ocean. At least a half a dozen others have come forward with health complaints. Now...at Silver Works.* Sterling Silver Statement Wheels! Only $10 each! You have something to savl! Speak up! They're listening, so express yourself witti style! Visit Silver Works e the entirtrcollectionl 00WORKS. Prices Comer Shopping Center 149 Rehoboth Avenue Kirkwood Highway Village by the Sea Mall Wilmington, DE 19808 Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-996-5510 302-227-1707