Beaches are commonly being forced to temporarily close due to the occurrence of fecal matter within the waterways. Fecal indicator bacteria are specific types of bacteria used to detect contamination and determine water quality. According to the United Nations, recreational waterways are a part of the sixth sustainable goal which recognizes the importance of clean water and sanitation. The goal goes beyond clean drinking water, as the exposure to harmful contamination in recreational waterways leads to a risk for public health as well. The bacteria associated with fecal contamination include: Enterococci, Total coliform, Fecal coliform, Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringes. Previous studies have been conducted around the world to focus on the public health aspect of the presence of the contamination. Fecal indicator bacteria were found in both waterways and sediments which leads to the exposure of harmful pathogens to beach goers. Beach goers exposed to the harmful pathogens associated with fecal matter may develop diseases such as gastrointestinal illness as well as bacterial infections in the eyes, nose, throat, and ears. In respect to the studies, fecal indicator bacteria used to determine contaminated water quality are forcing beaches to temporarily close to ensure the safety of the public. A literature review of fecal indicator bacteria found among beaches across the world will be presented, and this applies to the United Nations sustainable development goals as the contamination in the recreational waterways exposes beach goers to harmful pathogens which is a public health risk.
Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC)
College of Arts and Sciences
McKeever, S. (2021, February 26-27). Clean water not prevalent in beaches across the world [Poster presentation]. Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC), United States.