1) Last week the Associated Press found that the water in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, had incredibly high counts of bacteria and viruses which may cause illness for the Olympic athletes competing in next year’s Summer Olympics. This week the International Olympic Committee, after consulting with the World Health Organization, has ruled that the waters must now also be tested for viruses, breaking their long held bacteria only test policy.
2) Scientists are predicting another algae bloom for Lake Erie. Last year’s bloom disrupted the water supply for 400,000 people in Michigan and Ohio and this year’s bloom is expected to be more severe.
3) Does your local beach have a no swimming sign posted? If so you should also avoid spending time on the sand. New research published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology suggests that microbial communities decay more slowly in the sand than in the water, which is why more fecal bacteria is found on the shore than in the waves. Fecal bacteria can be 10 to 100 times higher in the sand contaminated by wastewater than in the nearby water.
5) The US Environmental Protection Agency accidentally caused a spill of of heavy metals from a mine above Silverton, Colorado. A million gallons of waste was estimated to have spill from the mine, turning the Animas River bright orange.
(Photo: Kristen Brastad)