Study: Fecal contamination affected 84% of Texas beaches in 2018

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — 141 Texas beaches were potentially unsafe for at least one day during 2018 due to fecal contamination, according to a recent study from the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center.

The study sampled 167 beach sites around the Texas gulf coast, concluding that more than 84% of Texas beaches were affected by fecal contamination for at least one day last year.

Fecal contamination makes beaches unsafe for swimming. Human contact with contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness as well as respiratory disease, ear and eye infections and skin rash, according to the study.

Primary sources of fecal contamination include urban runoff, sewage leaks and overflows.

The study reports Cole Park in Corpus Christi was potentially unsafe for 52 out of 64 sampled days, more than any other site in the state.

In Chambers County, just east of Houston, the average beach was potentially unsafe for swimming on 44% of the days that sampling took place, a higher percentage than any other county in the state, the report says.

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