New Study Shows Many Beaches Across The U.S. Had Unsafe Levels Of Bacteria In 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC — Based on the results of a new study released Tuesday, you may want to check the water conditions before planning your next day at the beach.

Non-profit environmental groups Environment America Research & Policy and Frontier Group compiled data from 4,523 beaches tested nationwide in 2018 and found nearly 60% of them had unsafe levels of pollution on at least one day of testing.

According to the report, those roughly 2,600 beaches had bacteria levels that exceeded the “Best Action Value” threshold established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On the East Coast, the report showed 48% of the 2,373 beaches tested were unsafe for at least one day.

127 of the 213 beaches tested in North Carolina and 55 of the 122 beaches tested in South Carolina had unsafe levels of bacteria for at least one day, according to the study.

Health officials say the fecal contamination levels found in many of these beaches pose a significant risk to the people swimming in them. Gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, ear and eye infections and skin rash are among the potentially serious complications that can result from human contact with fecal contamination.

The CDC says a steadily growing number of recreational water illnesses have been reported over the past few decades.

Sources of the contamination can include sewage overflows and failing septic systems, urban runoff and concentrated livestock manure, according to the report.

You can view the full report and get additional information by clicking HERE.