Imagine for a second you’re a Texan melting under the relentless desert sun. You’ve been huddling next to your AC vent for weeks now, dropping ice cubes down your shirt, avoiding the sun like a vampire. It’s time to get out and live some life. How about the beach?
So you pack up the cooler, get the spouse and kids if you have them, round up the friends, and head to that communal slice of paradise. You can barely contain yourself as you pull off your shirt and race for the water, only for your friend or loved one to tackle you to the ground.
“Are you insane?” they say, gasping as they struggle to guide you away from the dark sand. You were just going to ask them the same question when they say something that stops you from struggling against their rescue attempt.
The water is filled with poop!
That’s right. Researchers have found after testing for fecal bacteria levels in the water that 90% of Texan beaches tested last year had the possibility of making swimmers sick because of fecal contaminants.
In fact, according to Safe for Swimming, an annual report issued by the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center, 55 of 61 Texas beaches tested by environmental regulators were found to be unsafe due to high levels of poop in the water.
And this is in Texas, where public regulators aren’t exactly a high priority. So, it’s serious.
Now, anyone’s first reaction might be, “That’s a lot of people taking liberties in the ocean. Whoo!” But no. This isn’t due to Caddyshack antics on a massive scale. 84% of beaches tested along the whole Gulf Coast experienced at least one unsafe swimming day in 2022.
This is actually due to runoff thanks to heavy rain. For example, cow poop from ranches being washed into rivers and out to sea. And thanks to old infrastructure, the sewage washes seeps through barriers and out into public areas.
The situation has gotten so bad that as long ago as 2016 the federal government ordered Houston and Corpus Christi to upgrade their waterworks.
So, while there are some areas that are better than others, reconsider taking a dip if you find yourself along the Texan coast. It would be eerily similar to taking a bath in a public restroom toilet.
You can learn more from the original article here.