The Virginia (VA) Department of Health is preparing to test the waters along 44 state beaches, according to The Virginian-Pilot. They’ll be testing for a bacteria group called enterococcus, which is found in the intestines of humans and animals. This type of bacteria indicates whether fecal matter is present.
If the results are above a certain acceptable level, the water could pose health risks. In 2008, swimming advisories were posted at six beaches in Virginia (VA), covering a total of roughly 30 days. That’s an improvement from 2007, when 14 advisories were posted for a total of 50 days, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
As a personal injury attorney with 20 years of experience, I’m always concerned about the public safety of our waters. I’ve also written articles about water quality in Virginia (VA). I want to make sure I can take my kids to the beach and not worry they’ll be exposed to a hazardous bacteria while swimming in the water.
Unfortunately, my worries cannot be fully assuaged considering the measurements and science used to evaluate beach water quality is out-of-date, according to Portfolio Weekly. The Environmental Protection Agency lost a lawsuit filed by the National Resources Defense Council due to the failure to update public health standards which could detect disease-causing bacteria that may end up in beach water.
Each year nearly 7 million Americans become sick due to contaminated recreational and drinking water, according to the NRDC,
The main issues include out-of-date technology and the protracted time frame to examine test results and inform the general public (usually 18 to 24 hours).
The Virginia (VA) Department of Health needs to make sure they have the latest technology to test our beach waters and the time it takes to inform the public is as efficient as possible. This is of vital importance to our public safety.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car,truck,railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.