Several Beaches Closed in US After Toxic Bacteria Breached Safe Limits 

United States: Several Beaches in various states have been closed for swimmers for the past few days owing to an exceedingly harmful level of bacteria presence in the water. 

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), around 37 beaches have been remained closed on Monday afternoon because of “bacterial exceedance,” as ABC News reported. 

More about the news 

Several beaches have been found to have high levels of fecal bacteria after various tests were performed to check the quality of water. Therefore, beachgoers were made alerted not only to prevent swimming but also to refrain from entering the waters in those locations in order to avoid getting sick, as the health agency said. 

Moreover, minimum, there are three beaches in Coronado, California, locating at peninsula in San Diego Bay have reportedly been cloed since June 26 because “[b]acteria levels exceed health standards.” 

Several Beaches Closed in US After Toxic Bacteria Breached Safe Limits. Credit | iStock
Several Beaches Closed in US After Toxic Bacteria Breached Safe Limits. Credit | iStock

San Diego County’s Department of Environmental Health and Quality added that such closures usually happen after leakages from sewage or chemical spills. 

Furthermore, New York’s Suffolk County has also issued a warning against taking baths at 63 beaches owing to an alerting rise of bacteria levels caused by rainfall and stormwater runoff, according to ABC News. 

What type of bacteria is floating in water? 

The health officials have not clearly mentioned the type of bacteria found in California or New York; however, Massachusetts officials identified the bacteria as enterococci. 

Such bacteria are usually seen in the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, which also includes humans, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated, and might “indicate possible contamination of streams and rivers by fecal waste.” 

More about Enterococci bacteria 

According to the National Institutes of Health, the Enterococci bacteria normally causes infection in the urinary tract, which could additionally lead to blood infections and endocarditis, an inflammation of the lining of the heart’s valves and chambers as per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as ABC News reported. 

The presence of such bacteria when spread in waters after the occurrence of heavy rains, that too for long durations of no rain periods, which could take the animal or human feces, and carry it to nearby water bodies, such as oceans, rivers, and ponds. 

Moreover, heavy rain causes overflow of water, as well as sewage systems, to overflow, leading to contaminated and untreated sewage to dirty natural bodies of water. 

What has the CDC stated? 

According to the CDC, the US health agency, cyanobacteria is present on two beaches in Massachusetts. The experts found that the bacteria presence on those beaches exceeded safe limits. 

Moreover, as per the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, there are four beaches that faced closure in Michigan on Monday owing to the presence of Escherichia coli (E. coli).