Water quality testing of 273 beaches found three that failed to meet standards for recreational use.
All three are located in Acapulco, said the Federal Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris).
The Suave, Icacos and Manzanillo beaches were found to contain levels of enterococcus bacteria over the limit of 200 parts per 100 milliliters of water, as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The bacteria are usually found in fecal matter and can cause urinary tract infections, diverticulitis and meningitis, among other health complications.
The Cofepris study analyzed over 1,800 samples from 273 beaches in 70 coastal tourist destinations across Mexico, of which 98.9% complied with WHO criteria and were deemed safe for swimming.
This was not the first time that Acapulco’s Suave and Manzanillo beaches have appeared on the commission’s do-not-swim list. Cofepris announced that the beaches had yielded unfavorable lab results just days before summer vacations began this year.
Acapulco is expected to see 90% hotel occupancy rates during the winter holiday season.
The Concepción Bamba beach in Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec yielded negative results but technical complications prevented the proper analysis of the sample.
Despite a few unsafe beaches, Mexico continues to have the most Blue Flag certifications in the Americas, a recognition granted by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), based in Denmark.
The foundation recognizes beaches that comply with strict criteria including management, environmental education, security and services, as well as water quality.
Mexico boasts 54 beaches and three marinas with Blue Flag certification, with Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur leading the way with 20 certified beaches each. The complete list of Blue Flag beaches and marinas can be consulted (in Spanish) at the Blue Flag Mexico website.
Cofepris has conducted water quality tests of Mexico’s tourist beaches since 2003 in order to maintain public health standards among the country’s primary environmental tourist attractions.
To achieve this goal, the commission also urges visitors to the beaches to help keep them clean during the holiday season.
Any water quality anomalies can be reported (in Spanish) directly to the commission via telephone at 01 800 033 5050, available 24 hours a day, or by email.
Source: Infobae (sp)