As a result of the recent flooding and Tropical Storm Bill, the levels of fecal bacteria are high along the Texas coastline.
Since the pas several weeks the rain has been carrying waste from pstream and has been dumping it into the Gulf of Mexico. Tuesday morning officials saw seventeen beaches with high levels of fecal bacteria, but by the afternoon they had dropped to three after a second round of testing was conducted.
“People’s properties, septic systems that are failing, overrun sewer drains,” said Lori Fitzsimmons-Evans of the Galveston County Health District.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends avoiding swimming when the tests show high levels.
Tourists still aren’t staying out of the water, although while testing Galveston County is finding indicators of high levels of fecal bacteria.
Fitzsimmons-Evans says the elderly, children, or anyone with an open cut or whose immune system is compromised should be cautious.
Fecal coliform bacteria can cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illnesses, and serious kidney disorders in humans.
Fitzsimmons-Evans said once a sample comes back positive, the Galveston County Health District will do daily tests until they show the water is okay, as long as the rain holds off everything will be normal.
“It’s been good,” said Debbie Noel, who was visiting with her grandkids from Fort Worth, Texas. “The kids have loved it.” And while Noel said she “hasn’t seen” anything in the water, officials are warning people to be careful.