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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 7752-7776; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707752

U.S. Recreational Water Quality Criteria: A Vision for the Future

1
Water Resources Research Center, University of Hawaii, 2540 Dole Street, Holmes Hall Rm.283, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
2
Department of Civil, Arch., and Environmental Engineering, University of Miami, 1251 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA
3
Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station, 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304, USA
4
Water Resources Research Center, University of Hawaii, 2540 Dole Street, Holmes Hall Rm.283, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Samuel Dorevitch
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 18 June 2015 / Accepted: 1 July 2015 / Published: 9 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [717 KB, uploaded 13 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

This manuscript evaluates the U.S. Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) of 2012, based upon discussions during a conference held 11–13 March 2013, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The RWQC of 2012 did not meet expectations among the research community because key recommended studies were not completed, new data to assess risks to bathers exposed to non-point sources of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were not developed, and the 2012 RWQC did not show marked improvements in strategies for assessing health risks for bathers using all types of recreational waters. The development of the 2012 RWQC was limited in scope because the epidemiologic studies at beach sites were restricted to beaches with point sources of pollution and water samples were monitored for only enterococci. The vision for the future is development of effective RWQC guidelines based on epidemiologic and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) studies for sewage specific markers, as well as human enteric pathogens so that health risks for bathers at all recreational waters can be determined. The 2012 RWQC introduced a program for states and tribes to develop site-specific water quality criteria, and in theory this approach can be used to address the limitations associated with the measurements of the traditional FIB. View Full-Text
Keywords: recreational water quality criteria; recreational water quality standards; nonpoint source pollution; traditional fecal indicator bacteria; extra-enteric fecal indicator bacteria; alternate indicators; microbial source tracking recreational water quality criteria; recreational water quality standards; nonpoint source pollution; traditional fecal indicator bacteria; extra-enteric fecal indicator bacteria; alternate indicators; microbial source tracking
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fujioka, R.S.; Solo-Gabriele, H.M.; Byappanahalli, M.N.; Kirs, M. U.S. Recreational Water Quality Criteria: A Vision for the Future. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 7752-7776.

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