From the June 2006 issue of Scientific American Magazine:
"The reason for 85 percent of BEACH CLOSURES and advisories is the detection of excessive fecal bacteria."
And here you thought those kids were only peeing in the pool at the YMCA.
Evidently revising the septic systems in some coastal areas would alleviate the immediate problem somewhat. The Florida Keys–always popular with the tourists–are home to more than 25,000 septic systems. (And you know how popular Key West is with us homos!) Because of the substantially porous nature of the land in the Keys, the fecal bacteria aren't properly filtered. As the SciAm article states:
"In 1995, a research team led by John H. Paul and Joan B. Rose of the University of South Florida found that fecal microbes from septic systems in the Keys readily pass through the soil and can enter coastal waters near the shore within hours. "
Now, combine that fact with the substantial amount of sewage released into southern coastal waters by Hurricane Katrina, and it looks like we could be up the proverbial creek.