Water Contamination by Sewer Overflows

This week’s blog concerns an article regarding how communities are struggling with the contamination of water by sewer overflows.

In addition to the visible blight of garbage strewn along shorelines, a hazard exists in the water that is also brought in with the untreated sewage: pathogenic bacteria such E. coli

Many of these communities are host to beachgoers who contribute significantly to the local economies. Protecting public health is as important to the economy as maintaining the appearance of the shoreline. Until communities develop the physical infrastructure necessary to manage sewer overflows into recreational waters, water quality testing is a necessary measure each community must undertake to protect the health of the public and their economy.  Adoption of rapid, molecular methods such as qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction testing) can help public health entities minimize the effects of necessary beach closures by reducing exposure and by better defining the start and end times of the closure itself.  

For more information on recreational water monitoring, see: