+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Prevalence and distribution of fecal indicator organisms in South Florida beach sand and preliminary assessment of health effects associated with beach sand exposure

Prevalence and distribution of fecal indicator organisms in South Florida beach sand and preliminary assessment of health effects associated with beach sand exposure

Marine Pollution Bulletin 54(9): 1472-1482

Fecal indicator levels in nearshore waters of South Florida are routinely monitored to assess microbial contamination at recreational beaches. However, samples of sand from the surf zone and upper beach are not monitored which is surprising since sand may accumulate and harbor fecal-derived organisms. This study examined the prevalence of fecal indicator organisms in tidally-affected beach sand and in upper beach sand and compared these counts to levels in the water. Since indicator organisms were statistically elevated in sand relative to water, the study also considered the potential health risks associated with beach use and exposure to sand. Fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, enterococci, somatic coliphages, and F(+)-specific coliphages were enumerated from sand and water at three South Florida beaches (Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Hollywood Beach, and Hobie Beach) over a 2-year period. Bacteria were consistently more concentrated in 100g samples of beach sand (2-23 fold in wet sand and 30-460 fold in dry sand) compared to 100ml samples of water. Somatic coliphages were commonly recovered from both sand and water while F(+)-specific coliphages were less commonly detected. Seeding experiments revealed that a single specimen of gull feces significantly influenced enterococci levels in some 3.1m(2) of beach sand. Examination of beach sand on a micro-spatial scale demonstrated that the variation in enterococci density over short distances was considerable. Results of multiple linear regression analysis showed that the physical and chemical parameters monitored in this study could only minimally account for the variation observed in indicator densities. A pilot epidemiological study was conducted to examine whether the length of exposure to beach water and sand could be correlated with health risk. Logistic regression analysis results provided preliminary evidence that time spent in the wet sand and time spent in the water were associated with a dose-dependent increase in gastrointestinal illness.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 016742174

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17610908

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.04.016

Related references

Prevalence of yeasts in beach sand at three bathing beaches in South Florida. Water Research 41(9): 1915-1920, 2007

Effects of beach sand properties, temperature and rainfall on the degradation rates of oil in buried oil/beach sand mixtures. Environmental Pollution 109(1): 109-118, 2004

Effects of full-scale beach renovation on fecal indicator levels in shoreline sand and water. Water Research 48: 579-591, 2015

Sand and beach of Japan; 18, Sand and beach of Ibaraki Prefecture, central Japan; deformation and beach with construction of new port. Chishitsu News, 2008

Large populations of fecal indicator bacteria persist in freshwater beach sand. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology 103: Q-335, 2003

Fecal indicator abundance higher in freshwater bathing beach sand than in water column. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology 102: 437-438, 2002

Beach and sand of Japan; 16, Beach and sand of northeast Kyushu Island; from Kitakyushu to Kunisaki Peninsula. Chishitsu News, 2008

Effects of bacterial pollution caused by a strong typhoon event and the restoration of a recreational beach: Transitions of fecal bacterial counts and bacterial flora in beach sand. Science of the Total Environment 640-641: 52-61, 2018

Occurrence and persistence of bacterial pathogens and indicator organisms in beach sand along the California coast. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(6): 1733-1745, 2012

Sand and beach of Japan; 1, Sand and beach of the Yashiro-Jima, west Japan; an example of lost beach. Chishitsu News 2005(3(607)): 39-47, 2005

Long term survival of fecal indicator bacteria in beach sand and interstitial waters of a tropical coastal environment. 2005

Sand and beach of Hokkaido; 3, Sand and beach of the sea with drift ice Ohou-tuku sea. Chishitsu News, 2008

The effect of two mechanical beach grooming strategies on Escherichia coli density in beach sand at a southwestern Lake Michigan beach. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 7(3): 425-432, 2004

Faecal Indicator Bacteria Present in Sand at South Port Beach, South Australia. Journal of Coastal Research 341: 215-219, 2018

Water quality, weather and environmental factors associated with fecal indicator organism density in beach sand at two recreational marine beaches. Science of the Total Environment 497-498: 440-447, 2015