Skip to comments.Swim at your own risk: America's dirtiest beaches revealed in shocking new study
Posted on 06/30/2012 3:36:46 AM PDT by Pinkbell
With the summer in full swing and temperatures rising into the mid-90s, it may seem like a great idea to take a cool dip in the ocean, but according to a new report, some beach-goers may be getting more than they bargained for.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit environmental group, published on Wednesday its 22nd annual report which showed that storm water runoff and sewage pollution continue to spoil many of America's shores.
The study titled Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches examined the results of water testing data at more than 3,200 beaches nationwide, which suggest that beaches continued to suffer from serious contamination and pollutants by human and animal waste in 2011.
As a result, U.S. beaches had the third-highest number of closing and advisory days in more than two decades only slightly lower than in 2010.
Two-thirds of those closings and advisories were caused by bacteria levels surpassing public health standards.
Swimming in bacteria-infested waters can cause stomach flu, skin rashes and pinkeye. The report stated that children tend to be most susceptible to these and other waterborne illnesses likely because they tend to submerge their heads.
The NRDC report labelled 15 beaches in California, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin as repeat offenders.
Louisiana fared particularly poorly, with 29 per cent of the reported water samples below safety standards, followed by Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.
However, there was some marginally good news in the report. The number of beaches that violate national recommended health standards remained steady at 8 per cent the same level as 2010.
A dozen U.S. beaches received a five-star rating from the NRDC, indicating strong testing and safety practices, as well as low violation rates.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that up to 3.5million people become ill from contact with raw sewage from sanitary sewer overflows each year, and that number could even be higher since many people who become ill after swimming in polluted water are unaware of the underlying cause of their symptoms, and it often goes unreported.
The NRDC has called on the EPA to revise the new water quality criteria it has been developing, which the non-profit claims would leave beach-goers even less protected than in 1986, when the current standards were adopted.
The draft criteria, which are expected to be finalized this coming October, are based on what EPA has determined is an acceptable gastrointestinal illness risk of 3.6 per cent.
According to NRDC, that means the agency deems it acceptable for one in 28 swimmers to become ill with gastroenteritis from swimming in water that just meets its proposed water quality criteria.
The thought of having a 1/28 chance of getting the stomach flu is not something I'd want to gamble. The stomach flu is horrible.
My cousin and I both picked up a stomach virus (we think) from swimming in Lake Erie when we were kids. My cousin's brother didn't get it, though, and he was in the water too. It make the five hour trip home a nightmare, and neither of us wishes to swim in a lake anymore. My parents ended up getting the virus too. However, his brother who swam in the lake with us didn't get it. He doesn't like to swim in lakes anymore either, though, after he got an ear infection after swimming in a lake on a Boy Scout's trip. Anyway, here's the list for all of you who may be considering swimming at these beaches:
AMERICA'S DIRTIEST BEACHES
California: Avalon Beach in Los Angeles County (3 of 5 monitored sections)
California: Doheny State Beach in Orange County (3 of 6 monitored sections)
Illinois: Winnetka Elder Park Beach in Cook County
Illinois: North Point Marina North Beach in Lake County
Louisiana: Constance Beach in Cameron Parish
Louisiana: Gulf Breeze in Cameron Parish
Louisiana: Little Florida in Cameron Parish
Louisiana: Long Beach in Cameron Parish
Louisiana: Rutherford Beach in Cameron Parish
New Jersey: Beachwood Beach West in Ocean County
New York: Woodlawn Beach Woodlawn Beach State Park in Erie County
New York: Ontario Beach in Monroe County
Ohio: Euclid State Park in Cuyahoga County
Ohio: Villa Angela State Park in Cuyahoga County
Wisconsin: South Shore Beach in Milwaukee County
I think also that you will find these sewer beaches are located smack dab in the center of districts which support Obama and his movement of liberal fascists.
There is no such thing as “stomach flu.”
Its proper name is gastroenteritis.
The EPA is more concerned with control than your health, leave this to Obamataxcare.
There most likely near out flows from sewer treatment plants...spells happen...have it At the number one beach siesta key Florida.. Not every often but it happens..
Yes, the EPA wages demographic warfare on the People.
These liberal fascists have a very effective tool at hand.
Unlike Hitler’s baking and burning the People in gas ovens,our versioon of liberal fascism will be able to amplify toxic waste sites in Red States and kill off their opposition.
As long as the toxic places are in leftist areas, I will continue to applaud.
Ontario Beach in Monroe County NY is adjacent to the outflow of the Genessee River immediately after it flows through the city of Rochester. The older houses are connected directly to the river with predictable results. But there is an outstanding merry-go-round at the beach.
A.K.A: Septic tanks.
Freaking cityRATs....let em fester.
I’d be interested in seeing the tests for Hanauma Bay, HI.
Here’s evidence that this whole exercise is 100% worthless:
Monmouth 7th Ave. (Belmar) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% once a week yes yes
Monmouth Sylvania (Avon) 5.0% 5.6% 0.0% once a week yes yes
Belmar gets 5 stars, Sylvania 2 stars. The 2 test points appear to be .8 miles from each other.
What a POS “study”.
Don’t know about the others, but there is a sewage treatment plant very close to Doheny.
i live near coney island. how is that not atop the list?
Yet another case of an advocacy group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, issuing a press release and having it treated as “news”.
In Santa Cruz, CA, they close beaches due to "coliform bacteria." Of course, the implication is that the source is human. The problem with that idea is that it is more likely due to the harbor seals nearby and the sea lion colony from up the coast. Of course, the bureaucrats don't measure those sources, because they're "Natural." I am told that the algae plume from Ano Nuevo beach is visible from the air.
Oh, and before you go trusting the NRDC as a source of honest environmentalism, best you read this first.
Hanauma Bay water is great. You have to go a couple miles to find a sewage outlet, near sandy beach.
The place with nasty water is the Ala Wai Canal
I guess they came up with the $$ it takes to stay off the list.
Nice to hear Coney Island still HAS a beach...
Yeah, I would not trust any “estimates” coming from the EPA...
I grew up right next to those two Ohio beaches and went swimming just about every day in the summer in the 60s. The storm water went into the sewage plant and it couldn’t handle the load, so the overflow just dumped into the lake. After storms there were turds floating in the water. We just dodged them. Often there were little unidentified white things about the size of a match head all over the water surface. If you got a mouthful, just spit them out.
Funny thing is that none of us ever got sick.
I lived 3 blocks away from South Shore beach in Milwaukee - the sewer overflows hit the lake inside the breakwall and sit in mostly stagnant water.
It’s a shame because 75-100 years ago the beach was a big draw and people still go to the lake front to enjoy the paved Oak Leaf trail. I still work in the area but moved away a few years ago. The water isn’t obviously dirty but it has very high levels of the bugs that come from dumping municipal sewage. I cringe when I see people let their dogs swim in it.
Yeah, who's the Einstein that came up with the idea of running the storm drains into a septic sewage treatment plant?
That's item #2 on my list of "Stupidest Things I Ever Heard of in My Life".
“There is no such thing as stomach flu.
Its proper name is gastroenteritis”
How many of the uneducated meaning public school taught would know that? It’s another way to explain a problem to the dumbed down.
Love your post.
Good old Lake Erie in the 1950s.
Our family went swimming nearly every weekend in summer.
Maybe the air pollution from the steel mills and the Std Oil refinery counteracted the water.
Somehow I survived, LOL.
The EPA’s drooling at this ‘scientific’ study and cannot wait to cram some more regulations down our throats until even the ocean is pure as driven snow. Nevermind that it is so vast that just about any pollution is diluted (’dilution is the solution to pollution’); nevermind that these beaches are about a thousand times cleaner than any other beaches in the world, since they are in the US and not the South Pacific.
My friend went to the Solomon Islands with her dad, who had crashed there during WW2 and went to ‘visit’ his plane in a lagoon. She went for a swim - it was so pretty, tropical water, paradise. (She’s a liberal...). She said there were raw feces floating out there - got a terrible infection. THAT is what the EPA should be worrying about.
Avalon is ON Catalina Island. I’m not sure the town has any other sewer but the ocean. It is known as the dirtiest beach. I guess the island has to figure out some other way. Also, it’s the easiest destination for all the LA / OC yacht owners and who knows if they dump their waste appropriately either?
Its all enough to make a person puke!
Doheny State Beach is located in Orange County, California which voted for John McCain in 2008.
Aha! The EPA is toxic tageting Republican communitoes!!!/S
My first layover in HI convinced me to never EVER swim off the coast of the lower 48.
Then I went to Guam and scuba’ed all over the deep pacific and then didnt even like getting in the water in HI.
I am spoiled, I know.
Doubt that the people that live around Doheny State Beach in Orange County voted for Obama.
I hear Alimentary Canal is pretty bad also......
Then its an EPA toxic plot to kill off Republicans!
The worst place I remember water quality wise...was the Santa Ana River Jetties....after a big rain. Lots of flotsam and jetsam. We just basically avoided it then.
I don't recall ever feeling like I got sick because of swimming / surfing in the ocean.
don’t recall ever feeling like I got sick because of swimming / surfing in the ocean.>>>>>>>
Salt water kills most gastroitis causing bacteria, but the toxins can remain.
I wonder how bad the Santa Ana River is these days?
They're most likely near outflows from sewer treatment plants. Spills happen...Deal with it. Even at the very popular Siesta Key beach in Florida. Not very often, but it happens.
(a free service of the English Translations Department of FR)
No idea.........I live in Oklahoma now.
The guy who convinced the Water/Sewer Department that they could then charge CUSTOMERS for the amount of STORMWATER RUNOFF.
Lest you think I be lying, that 'policy' was recently added to my WATER BILL.
There are 3 charges.
One for Water Used.
One for Sewer waste/water based on water used.
AND one for STORMWATER RUNOFF based on some arbitrary and unexplained hockey stick graph of Glacial Ice Melts.
It hasn't rained here for at least a week, and none is expected, but I bet I get charged for STORMWATER RUNOFF.
It looks a little green on zoom:
“...a non-profit environmental group...”
No point wasting time reading anything that follows.
No Texas beaches among them.
Medical waste is about as low as you can get.
Remember when you kiss someone your kissing the anterior end of a 25 foot tube, the end of which goes in the toilet.
They've been around for hundreds of years. Actually thousands. It used to be very common. These were built before sewage treatment plants even existed. The whole thing would just dump into a river or lake. Turds in the lakes and river, turds in flooded basements. We had that happen several times in the 50s.
Then, when treatment became common, the rebuilding of the whole thing was very expensive, so they ran everything into the treatment plant. It worked fine until a heavy rainfall arrived. When the plant was taking in more water than it could handle, the overflow went into the lake or river.
There are still a lot of them around. Some cities have spend huge amounts of money to separate the combined systems. An alternative is to build massive tunnels to store storm water.
Search "combined storm sanitary system" or "CSO" for more info.
This article says there are still almost 800 communities in the US with such systems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_sewer
For many years Cleveland (and other cities) has been digging many enormous sewer lines that can store storm/sewage water and feed it to the treatment plants at a rate they can handle. Here's an article about another one that's just beginning. http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/06/massive_sewer_drilling_machine.html
Another $200 million chunk in the $3 billion storage tunnel project.
A lie? No, Ontario Beach in Monroe County really is pretty bad.