How clean is your beach?

Published On: Jun 27 2013 03:23:56 AM EDT

If you're heading to the beach this summer you probably don't have water quality concerns at the top of your list.  But, some of our beach water is dirty and it could even make you sick.

The latest report card on America's beaches finds that for the third straight year, there have been more than 20,000 closings and advisory days because of dirty water. The report is released each summer by the National Resources Defense Council.

The number of closures and alerts for 2012 were down from the previous year because we had less rain and less runoff, which is one of the major sources of pollution in our water.

Eighty percent of the closures and alerts for 2012 were issued because bacteria levels exceeded public health standards.

Illnesses linked to swimming in contaminated water include upset stomach, skin rashes, ear, nose and throat problems, pink eye, respiratory infections and Hepatitis.

About seven percent of beach samples from across the United States had unacceptable pollution levels. The worst offenders were beaches in the Great Lakes region.  The healthiest beaches were found in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

A recent report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality found Michigan residents lost 755 beach days due to pollution in 2012.

You can find out how your local beach rates by clicking here and submitting your zip code.


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