SAN JUAN – Five beaches in Puerto Rico, three of them in the southeastern area, are not suitable for bathers because of the infectious enterococcus bacteria detected in concentrations above the acceptable quality limits, as found in samples by the Environmental Quality Board (JCA).
The director of the Water Quality Area of the JCA, Angel Melendez Aguilar, said on Saturday that the three beaches in the southeast that exceed acceptable quality parameters, as determined by the samples taken last Tuesday and Wednesday, are Balneario de Patillas, Playa Guayanes in Yabucoa municipality and Balneario Punta Santiago in Humacao.
The other polluted beaches are Tropical Beach in Naguabo on the east and Balneario Manuel “Nolo” Morales in Dorado, a municipality near San Juan’s west side.
The JCA director recalled that after the continuous rains, direct contact with the sea water is not recommended for at least the next 24 hours, since the bacteria continue to increase.
People are also being told to avoid swimming and wading at beaches near the mouths of rivers and streams.
JCA research indicates that the most common causes of infection are contaminants carried by rainwater runoffs, the pollution in ravines and rivers, communities without sewers or adequate systems for handling waste water, badly designed septic tanks with poor maintenance, and unauthorized pumping.
“Our recommendation is that bathers avoid direct contact with this body of water, since the pathogenic organisms can cause diseases of the skin, nose, eyes, throat and the gastrointestinal system,” Aguilar said.