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Bacteria: The Unwelcomed Guest at Our Beach

COMMUNITY CENTERClean Water & WaterwaysYard & LandscapingJul 25, 2013Guest Contributor

Author: Guest Contributor

Were you disappointed about the recent beach closings? With summer in full swing, beachgoers are unaware of the harmful bacteria that are keeping them inside instead of seaside. The usual suspects consist of rainy days and rip currents but, let’s not forget bacteria. The Department of Public Health reported that the recent bacteria levels found in our waterways have exceeded state water quality standards. Who would have thought that a microscopic pest is the unwanted guest at the beach party?

Don’t worry just yet, you can help stop bacteria from being a threat.  Before you head to the beach, here are some simple tips that you can implement to kick bacteria to the curb while having some fun in the sun.

  1. Scoop the Poop. Remember to always pick up pet waste to stop pollutants from entering our waterways.
  2. Stash the Trash. Be sure to properly dispose of all trash. Allowing trash to enter the waterways can increase bacteria levels.
  3. We plead…don’t feed the Wildlife. Feeding the wildlife will affect their natural migration patterns which has a major impact on water pollution.
  4. Erase Boat Waste. Remind boat owners to properly dispose of their boat waste. Improperly discharging boat waste can be extremely harmful to swimmers.
  5. Equalize the Fertilizer. A little goes a long way….and maybe your grass does not even need it! The runoff from your yard can be extremely harmful to water quality.

Blog post contributed by Diana Cheatham, summer intern with the City of Norfolk Public Works Environmental  Storm Water Division.