Phew! It’s okay to get back in the water at Galveston beaches. Those high levels of Enterococcus bacteria reported on Wednesday, indicating high levels of fecal matter, are gone. Everything’s back to normal!
Where does all that shit come from, anyway? Sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, boating waste, and storm water runoff, among other sources. Says the Texas General Land Office:
Water contact should be avoided for 48 hours following periods of heavy, prolonged rainfall.
Thanks for the tip, guys! You can track bacteria levels daily with a handy interactive map tool at the Texas General Land Office’s Beach Watch website. (Their happy slogan: “Check the Net Before You Get Wet!”) Other bacteria to watch out for: various species of Vibrio, which cause a few deaths a year. But don’t worry—you won’t need to check the net for Vibrio levels, because they aren’t monitored at all.
- Beachgoers return as bacteria levels recede [Houston Chronicle]
- Eeeewwwww! [Houstonist]
- The Texas Beach Watch Program [General Land Office]
Photo: flickr user rodlkennedy