According to a study by Environment America Research and Policy Center, more than half of United States beaches are contaminated with poop and sewer which makes it unsafe for residents and tourists to swim. The report was officially published on July 5, 2023, and it took data from coastal areas and the Great Lakes region.
The analysis states that over 3,1000 beaches in 2022 showed unsafe levels of contamination for human life, with 55% of them in the United States reaching risky “fecal contamination rates” that come from different sources. For example, the study affirms that human and animal poop is dumped into the sea from sewage overflows and factory farms. About this, the report affirms:
“Unfortunately, sewage infrastructure around the country is inadequate or in poor repair, enabling raw sewage to find its way into our waterways. Sanitary sewers overflow as many as 75,000 times each year in the US. Paving over wetlands or forests that had once absorbed rainfall and filtered pollution makes this problem worse.”
Beaches located in Texas are ranked as the most contaminated in the country, as 90% of the 61 beaches analyzed by the organization showed high unsanitary levels. Similarly, beachgoers in Louisiana and Pennsylvania might have swam in the most dangerous ones, as their results contained alarmingly high fecal contamination levels.
The study warns people to be cautious as well, since swimming in poop-polluted beaches can provoke breathing illnesses, eye or ear infections, and rashes. Pregnant people, children, and the elderly are likely to develop serious diseases if they ingest or come in contact with highly contaminated waters.