Oh my, so much E. coli

Written By: Layla Profeta

Florida is known to be a aquatic paradise. However, the notorious reputation South Florida carries for its beautiful waterways is currently at risk.

Water safety used to be a concern of the past but lately there have been signs of water contamination all over South Florida. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the presence of microbiological contaminants are a health concern at certain levels of exposure in South Florida”

The quality of beach water in Florida is plummeting. Specifically, Crandon and Oleta beach are targeted for being at  swimming risk and extremely hazardous. The EPA states that if water is inadequately treated, microbiological contaminants in that water may cause disease. Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and possibly jaundice, and associated headaches and fatigue.

Crandon beach and Oleta have been pronounced to be contaminated with an abundant amount of fecal coliforms or E. coli. Coliform is a bacteria commonly found in drinking water. However, lately coliform has been located in the South Florida pipes that distribute water. According to the EPA the presence of fecal coliforms or E. coli are generally not harmful themselves, but their presence in drinking water is serious because they are usually associated with sewage or animal wastes.  Living in such close proximity to the waterways, it is vital that students take precaution before visiting the beach.


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