The Iowa Department of Natural Resources weekly beach monitoring report has consistently had seven or eight state beaches listed weekly this summer for high levels of bacteria. This past week there were eight beaches on the list, and Janice Boekhoff of the D-N-R says overall there’s been more bacteria out there. She says they’ve definitely seen more beaches than normal with bacteria problems and they believe that’s because of all the rainfall. While the number of beaches with bacteria problems has been up — Boekhoff says there’s a good side to the situation. She says this has been a great year to take a look at some of the beaches with high levels of bacteria. She says there’s been so many rains they’ve been able to show that many of the problems come from rain runoff. Boekhoff says this year has verified that there’s often not one big source of pollution.She says most of the sources of bacteria are what are called “non-point” sources — meaning they come from all over, not just one source. She says things like cattle with access to streams, manure applied to farm fields are all sources of bacteria that get washed into the watersheds. Boekhoff says the beach testing season will continue for another couple of months. She says most of the beaches will still be monitored through October, while they’ll stop monitoring some where there haven’t been problems after Labor Day. For more information on the beach monitoring, surf to:www.iowadnr.com, and then look for beach testing link.
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