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Beach Water Safety: What Those Colorful Flags Really Mean

Credit Jen Fisher, Indiana University

Jen Fisher is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Indiana University Northwest, where she teaches courses in Microbiology, including Medical Microbiology and Environmental Microbiology.

Her research focuses broadly on bacterial communities at the intersection of natural aquatic resources, urban infrastructure, and human health.

In this interview Fisher speaks about water safety on beaches as we approach summer months.

First Fisher mentions how patrons can know whether it is safe to swim in beach water or not by paying attention to flag colors posted by local health departments.

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She then talks about the most common reasons it is unsafe to swim at beaches, being dangerous waves and stormwater runoff.

She mentions the storm water runoff can introduce fecal pollution to the shore water that is dangerous to patrons.

Lastly, Fisher details how patrons can keep their beaches open for swimming by taking responsibility for their trash and pet’s waste, and also by not feeding the costal birds.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Subjects: Microbiology, Recreational swimming, Freshwater pollution, Water quality, Water pollution, Surface runoff pollution, Environmental concerns, Coastlines and beaches

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