Recreational waters are at high risk of contamination. The primary cause of contamination is fecal organisms. (Turgeon, 2012) As explained by Patricia Turgeon (2012) climate change will cause more rain events that will increase the water in run-offs. This increased run-off water will overload sewer treatment plants causing dumping of contaminated water into public beach areas.
Labor Day unofficially ends summer. Many people flock to the beaches for a last day of sun and fun. Safety is not the top thought in anyone’s mind and water contamination is rarely discussed.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics lists these safety rules when you're at the beach:
• Ward off dehydration by making sure everyone in the family drinks plenty of water (or other drinks without carbonation or alcohol) before they feel thirsty.
• Make sure everyone swims only in designated swim areas and within eyesight of a lifeguard.
• Never allow anyone to swim alone.
• Don't swim in rip currents; make sure all family members know if they are caught in a rip current to swim parallel to the shore and not against the current.
• If it starts to storm, head away from the beach and seek shelter.
Pay attention to traffic if the beach allows cars.” (http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu)
However, these safety tips are no longer the only risk at the beach. Exposure to contaminated water can cause skin irritation, ear infections, and gastrointestinal symptoms. (Turgeon, 2012)
The most common illness derived from contaminated beaches is gastrointestinal symptoms, which include bloating, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has established the ocean and human health initiative to improve the understanding and management of the ocean, coasts and Great lakes to enhance benefits to human health and to reduce health risks. (http://oceansandhumanhealth.noaa.gov) However, people still go to the beach without knowledge of the risk.
Although the government knows the risk, testing water for contamination is the only recourse for protection discussed. Lindsey Powers (2012) writes one in twenty-eight beachgoers will leave with gastrointestinal symptoms but the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations do not decrease sickness.
Health tip: Be safe at the beach. (2013, 04). U.S.News & World Report, , 1. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/1355898162?accoun...
Ikehata, K., Murphy, R. R., Liu, Y., Sun, R. N., & Nessl, M. B. (2010). Health effects associated with wastewater treatment, reuse, and disposal. Water Environment Research, 82(10), 2047-2066. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/926423990?account...
NOAA (2012) National Ocean Service. Retrieved from Http://oceansandhumanhealth.noaa.gov
Powers, Lindsey (2013) Protect Beachgoers From Contamintated Ocean Water: Demand Tougher Beach Pollution Regulations. Retrieved from http://forcechange.com/13196/protect-beachgoers-from-contaminated-ocean-...
Turgeon, P. (2012). Monitoring recreational waters: How to integrate environmental determinants. Journal of Environmental Protection, 3, 798-808. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/1041061515?accoun...