By MIKE SECCOMBE
Sengekontacket Pond has been cleared of the bacterial contamination which saw it closed to shellfishing for most of the summer, and the pond will reopen on Oct. 1.
Persistent contamination with fecal coliform bacteria resulted in the pond closure in June and again in July, when the state Division of Marine Fisheries determined the pond would be closed to shellfishing for four months in summer every year.
However, Edgartown shellfish constable Paul Bagnall said yesterday the pond had registered levels of bacteria below the danger level in tests done last Wednesday. Mr. Bagnall said he had not yet received the precise numbers.
He said Eel Pond, which also has had bacterial problems in the past, also came up clean.
The contamination problem in Sengekontacket has been blamed on the droppings of large numbers of birds, particularly cormorants and geese.
But initial testing was not able to distinguish with certainty the source of the coliform bacteria, forms of which live in the guts of all warm-blooded animals.
Authorities are awaiting the results of more precise analysis, expected within the next couple of weeks, to determine for sure the source of the contamination.