Spring has sprung. Hot temps and sunshine are right around the corner. People are already making their summer plans - many of which include going to the beach for some fun in the sun. But, before you book your beach house in Louisiana or Texas, you might want to look at some of these alarming stats. Because as fun as a day in the sun sounds, there's some real health concerns in the US and specifically in Texas & Louisiana - and no, we're not talking about Jaws, we're talking about poop pollution.

Many Texas & Louisiana Beaches Tested Positive for Bacteria & Fecal Matter

The bold print pretty much says it all. Many beaches in our general area can have potentially dangerous levels of bacteria. That's not a scare tactic. That's not to prevent you from going. I know, personally, I'm still going to hit the beach this summer. But, with that said, it's good to be aware of the risk.

For instance, according to an EPA study in 2021, 21 Louisiana beaches allegedly had at least one day where the water was "unsafe for swimming". These 21 beaches were deemed potentially 'unsafe' do to high levels of "fecal bacteria". In layman's terms - there was poop in the water, which can cause some so health issues.

But, this isn't just a Louisiana problem. According to a 2022 study from Environment Texas, roughly 90% of Texas's 61 beaches had at least one day where the water levels were considered unsafe. A report from Health.com said that over 50% of all US Beaches had 'unsafe' Fecal Contamination Levels. So, regardless of the year or location, this seems to a be a pretty common issue and pretty widespread.

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How Sick Can You Get From Fecal Bacteria?

According to this article from NOLA.com, roughly 57 million Americans get sick from swimming in contaminated water every year. The question is how sick is sick? Well, from what I can find, the symptoms are pretty wide in range. It can lead to everything from tummy troubles to lung illnesses to ear infections to rashes. In short, from what I can tell, it can be a pain but it's probably not going to kill you.

What Causes So Much Fecal Matter to Get in the Water?

The short answer: Poop gets into the water from dozens of ways. Runoff from the streets, pet waste, run off from farms, sewage overflows and a whole lot more contribute to the problem. Same with storms and heavy rains - they cause drainage systems to overflow and all that nastiness ends up up in places where it could make you ill.

READ MORE: Check Out This Secret Louisiana Beach

What Can You Do to Prevent Getting Sick?

You could prevent yourself getting ill due to these contaminants by avoiding beaches all together. But, what fun is that?

Here's some practical information to try and avoid getting sick this summer: avoid swimming after it rains, wash/disinfect your hands frequently to try and kill the bacteria before it gets in your system. Also, after a day at the beach, you might want to take a long, hot shower to wash to wash potential stink and bacteria off you.

Otherwise, go have fun and enjoy yourself.

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