A report conducted by the Environment Texas Research found nine waterways in Central Texas had unsafe levels of bacteria at least once in 2017.
These sites include Lake Brazos in Waco and multiple parts of South Nolan Creek, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, and Little Nolan Creek in Killeen.
The report titled, "Swim at Your Own Risk" analyzed the water quality of Texas beaches, freshwater streams and lakes. The report found these waterways frequently contain more feal bacteria from animal and human waste than what's deemed safe under state law.
"In 2017, tests revealed unsafe water at beaches along much of Texas’ coastline," said Gideon Weissman of Frontier Group, report co-author. "Unsafe bacteria levels were more frequent in certain areas. Of the 12 beach sites that were unsafe for swimming for five or more days in 2017, 10 were in and around Corpus Christi Bay or Galveston Bay."
The data provided by the TCEQ and the city of Austin found that among 120 statewide beach locations tested in 2017 for water quality, 63 percent had bacteria levels that were unsafe for swimming on at least one testing day.
Swimming in water that's contaminated with fecal pollution can lead to gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, ear and eye infections and skin rashes.
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