(WCMH) – As spring break season kicks off for many colleges, a handful of beaches in popular Texas destinations are registering high levels of fecal bacteria.
Texas Beach Watch is a program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas General Land Office (GLO).
During the month of March, weekly water samples are collected at recreational beaches and tested for Enterococcus bacteria. When water exceeds acceptable standards, warnings are issued and signs are posted on the beach.
My San Antonio reported fecal bacteria can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, ear infections and rashes. More serious effects are also possible.
The bacteria can come from sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, stormwater runoff, boating waste, humans and animals. Elevated bacteria levels are also associated with rainstorms. Water contact should be avoided for 48 hours following periods of heavy, prolonged rainfall, according to Texas Beach Watch.