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Contaminated water has been found on nearly half of all beaches within the USA

July 7, 2023 – About half of the beaches within the United States had no less than at some point in 2022 when water pollution reached potentially concerning levels, based on a report by an environmental group.

In the annual issue “Safe for Swimming” Report, The Environment America Research and Policy Center reported that 1,761 of three,192 beaches tested for water pollution in 2022 had no less than at some point wherein fecal contamination exceeded the EPA's Beach Action Value (BAV), which is used to find out bacterial levels and whether a beach needs to be closed.

The report also states that potentially hazardous levels of fecal contamination were detected on 363 beaches on no less than 25 percent of the test days.

Pollution levels varied by region, with 48% of East Coast beaches, 63% of Great Lakes beaches, 84% of Gulf Coast beaches, and 70% of West Coast beaches exceeding the EPA's BAT on no less than at some point in 2022.

The Environment America Research and Policy Center is a component of the Public Interest Network.

The contamination levels were retrieved from the National Water Quality Monitoring Council's water quality portal on May 31, the group said.

The report says that fecal contamination of the water of seas and lakes where people swim could be attributable to runoff from cities, large-scale development, sewage overflows and factory farming.

“Even as Americans once again enjoy the fresh ocean breeze and the sound of waves lapping on the beach, too many places where we swim are still plagued by pollution,” said John Rumpler, director of the Clean Water Program on the Environment America Research & Policy Center, in a press release. “Now is the time to fix our water infrastructure and stop the flow of pathogens to our beaches.”