Conflicting reports on Delaware water quality

    Delaware finishes in second place in a national study of beach water quality.

    How clean are Delaware’s beaches?  Well, it depends on who you ask.

    On Tuesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a report on the quality of water at the nation’s beaches in 2009 and found that Delaware had the second best beach water quality in the nation.  (You can read the NRDC’s Delaware report at NRDC.org.)  The report showed that just 2% of beach monitoring samples in Delaware exceed the maximum standards for bacteria.

    The group Environment America had a different take on the NRDC report.  They focused on  the 94 days beaches in Delaware were closed last year due to water quality problems.  The group’s Bettina Bergoo says, “To protect our beaches we need to reduce the amount of stormwater created by our cities.”

    The NRDC report does point to “aging and poorly designed sewage treatment systems and contaminated stormwater” as a common source of beach water pollution.

    Bottom line, Delaware’s beaches are cleaner than many around the country, but they could always be cleaner.

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