This Chart Shows How Nasty Beach Water Is

The Natural Resources defence Council released its annual report on water quality at U.S. beaches.

In addition to urging the Environmental Protection Agency to raise its water-quality standards, the organisation listed sources of pollution that contributed to beach closures over the last decade.  

Dirty beaches

Photo: National Resources defence Council

 Here’s a breakdown of the data:

  • 49 per cent (11,588 closing/advisory days) were attributed to unknown sources of pollution.
  • 47 per cent (10,954 closing/advisory days) were attributed to polluted runoff and stormwater. In 2010, 36 per cent of closing advisory/days were attributed to polluted runoff and stormwater.
  • 12 per cent (2,690 closing/advisory days) were attributed to miscellaneous pollution sources, such as boat discharges. Of those, 1,366 days were attributed to wildlife sources.
  • 6 per cent (1,541 closing/advisory days) were attributed to sewage spills and overflows. This category includes combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, breaks or blockages in sewer lines, and faulty septic systems

(Totals exceed total closing/advisory days and 100 per cent because more than one contamination source was reported for some events.)

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Beaches In America > 

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