THE MICROBIOLOGICAL AND SANITARY STATE OF SAND IN THE MUNICIPAL BATHING BEACH IN SZCZECIN
 
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Department of Microbiology and Environmental Biotechnology, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Słowackiego 17 Str., 71-434 Szczecin, Poland
Publication date: 2015-11-03
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2015; 16(5):40–45
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Artificial beaches, i.e. places in the public sphere, are usually intended for recreation, located at water reservoirs, rivers, and their surface is naturally occurring or applied sand. The urban bathing beach located in Szczecin by the Deep lake has sand purchased and distributed on the beach by the Municipal Services Office in Szczecin (a few hundred ton). The beach is divided into sectors, a volleyball court is in one part, in the next section catering and sanitary facilities are located, and the remaining area is a place intended for sunbathing and playing games. The aim of the experiment was to assess the effects of different ways of using the beach on changes of microbiological properties of the sand. The tests were taken from the beach sand in May 2013 (first term examinations), and in September, after several months of use (the second term of examinations). The sand was collected near catering and sanitary sector (the first object) and from the area of the volleyball court (the second object), as well as the playground for children (the third object). The facilities were distanced from the shoreline of the lake by approx. 8 metres. The comparison included the number of heterotrophic bacteria, fungi and the detected presence of coliform bacteria, including Escherichia coli, bacteria of the genus Salmonella and eggs of intestinal parasites. In any of the objects, or the periods of time, eggs of intestinal parasites and bacteria of the genus Salmonella were detected. The presence of coliform bacteria including E. coli was found in the sand collected from a catering-sanitary zone, there was also the biggest number of bacteria and fungi. The number of heterotrophic bacteria and fungi was similar in samples of sand taken from the volleyball court and from the playground, in this sand there was no bacteria belonging to the E. coli species, although in several samples from the playground other bacteria belonging to the coliform genus were detected. To sum up, it is possible to state that the same sand used in various ways is gaining different microbiological characteristics. The values of the studied parameters differed significantly with regards to sand taken from the area of consumption, hygiene-sanitary activities and sand collected from the area of active leisure (the court and playground). These results indicate the need for a deliberate selection of location for sunbathing (children playing in the sand) away from the sites for culinary and sanitary purposes.
 
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