Melbourne’s fecal-polluted beaches are off limits after heavy rains tainted nearby rivers and creeks with waste that was carried by tides onto some of Australia's most popular sands.
The Environment Protection Authority in the state of Victoria on Monday blamed the rains for bringing inland pollution to Melbourne's shores, said The New York Times, and the resulting swimming ban at the 21 beaches in the country's second-largest city.
“It’s poo in all its luxurious forms that is causing the problem,” said Anthony Boxshall, the agency’s manager of applied sciences. He said the waste is coming from “people, dogs, horses, cows, birds and other animals.”
Residents complained the pollution prevented them from enjoying their annual beach pilgrimage, noted The Times.
“When the temperature gets above 86 Fahrenheit, Melbournians typically pack the family in the car with food and drink and spend the day at the beach,” said Sam Riley, who lives in the city. “I was going to take my two young boys to the beach myself over the summer, but now I’m concerned about whether the water is clean.”
Boxshall said it usually takes up to 48 hours for the waters to clear after rainfall.
According to Source Molecular, human fecal pollution can contaminate water in a series of ways, with point sources and non-point sources being the main causes.
Point source water contamination is caused by “a single, identifiable source, such as a pipe or ditch.” Non-point source pollution is the exact opposite, as it’s difficult to determine the exact route of the contamination.
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