Well sh*t. Turns out swimming at Texas beaches could mean you're swimming in much more than you bargained for. According to a new study 90% of Texas beaches are over the threshold of what is considered to be a safe amount of fecal matter.

"According to Chron.com, Thestudy by Environment Texas, a state environmental group, found that 90 percent of beaches in the Lone Star State tested positive for unsafe levels of fecal bacteria for at least one day in 2022—exceeding the safety threshold set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

But it's not just a Texas problem, according to the same report nearly half of U.S. beaches had potentially unsafe contamination levels in 2022.

What can swimming in contaminated water mean for you and your health? "It can cause gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, ear and eye infection, and skin rash.Environment America reports that, "each year there are an estimated 57 million cases of illness in the U.S. resulting from swimming in oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds."

If you're planning a beach trip this summer, here are Texas' Top 10 biggest offenders when it comes to fecal matter:

  1. Cole Park: Nueces County
  2. Ropes Park: Nueces County
  3. Poenisch Park: Nueces County
  4. Corpus Christi Marina: Nueces County
  5. Padre Bali Park: Nueces County
  6. Texas City Dike: Galveston County
  7. 25th St.: Galveston County
  8. University Beach: Nueces County
  9. Clara St.: Galveston County
  10. Sylvan Beach Park: Harris County

The likely cause of these elevated levels of fecal bacteria comes from urban runoff, sewage overflows, and factory farms. If you're wondering what we can do to prevent beach pollution, learn more here.

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