Three samples are taken in water generally one foot below the surface in water that is between three and six feet in depth.If the results of three test samples average to less than 300 E. coli per 100 milliliters of water, the risk of recreational water illnesses is minimal. If the test results over a 30 day period average below 130 E. coli per 100 ml of water, the risk of recreational water illnesses is minimal. High levels of E. coli indicate fecal contamination and the possible presence of other harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses in the water. Regardless of beach water test results, safe swimming should always be practiced to prevent recreational water illnesses. Steps you can take to practice safe swimming include:
- Avoid getting water in your mouth.
- Sanitize your hands before eating.
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks and be sure young children wear clean swim diapers.
- Do not swim in water that appears murky, smells foul or looks polluted in any way.
- Avoid swimming immediately after heavy rainfall.
- Do not feed seagulls or geese.
- Shower after you swim.