Gulf Water Testing for Fecal bacteria picks up for Spring Break

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As the busy season along the Texas Gulf coast picks up, so does water monitoring efforts. (KTRK)

As the busy season along the Texas Gulf coast picks up, so does water monitoring efforts.

A state-wide program called Texas Beach Watch tests the coastline water for fecal bacteria called Enterococcus.

Galveston County Health District spokesperson Janae Pulliam says the bacteria is from animal waste and ends up in the water after heavy rains.

"It's important to us to make sure that we always know what's going on in the water, we always want people to be safe," said Pulliam.

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The Galveston County Health District watches over 52 sites.

Environmental Technician, Jon Burns, says he tests the sites every-other-week during the off-season and every week for the month of March and during the summer.

"We have to be about knee deep to do the sample," said Burns.

When a test comes back positive he opens sign at that particular site, already posted along the seawall.

"The stuff I tested today we'll know by tomorrow afternoon. It's a 24-hour test."

He says it takes about 48 hours for the water to clear if they do find high levels.

You can also check the website texasbeachwatch.com to look at all the testing sites in the state.

"So you can go anywhere in Texas and know you're going to be safe and be able to get in the water without any crazy bacteria, that's fantastic," said Krista Uranga, visiting Galveston from Ft. Worth.
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