Jaws isn’t the only predator lurking in the water. Beach pollution in the form of bacteria too small to see with the naked eye can cause harmful bacterial infections--not exactly the souvenir you want from a trip to the shore.
Raw sewage draining into streams and rivers can eventually make their way to the ocean where they frolic alongside unaware swimmers. Bacteria--including the kinds that cause pink eye, spinal meningitis, hepatitis, and staff infections--can also spread via water from swimmer to swimmer.
In 2011, there were 27,000 warnings, advisories and closings due to beach pollution. This year, prevent bacterial infections by avoiding the beach if you have open cuts and sores or a weakened immune system because of a prior illness. Wash well before and after a trip to the beach. Most importantly, check the news for possible beach pollution and bacterial contamination prior to setting up your beach umbrella.