A recent study (2022) found that 55 of 61 Texas beaches have unsafe levels of "fecal contamination." That means that many Texans seeking a summer beach vacation could get very sick when taking a dip.

Researchers found that 90% of Texas beaches tested last year had the possibility of making swimmers sick because of fecal contaminants.


Are you wondering where to avoid? We will look at the worst Texas beaches for fecal bacteria, but first, let's take a look at why our beaches are so literally crappy, and what post-swim symptoms should cause you concern.

unsplash.com with edits
unsplash.com with edits

Let relief wash over you to know that Texans aren't just serial beach poopers. Most of the fecal bacteria are the result of agricultural run-off. In other words, it's cow poop. That doesn't make it much safer for a swim.

Getting in the water means you'll likely ingest some of it whether you get some in your mouth, in your eyes, or in some little cut or scrape. Kids, pregnant people, and folks with health problems or who take medications that lower their ability to fight infection are more at risk of water-borne illness, according to the CDC.

Symptoms that should cause you concern are vomiting and diarrhea- which could be a sign of E. Coli, Giardia, or another dangerous bacteria. Skin rashes and respiratory problems are also signs of potentially dangerous infections. If these happen after a beach swim, you need to see a medical professional asap.

So which beaches are the worst?

Most of the contaminated beaches were located in the Corpus Christi and Galveston areas, according to the analysis.

The top three worst beaches were Cole Park, Ropes Park, and Poenisch Park, all of which are Corpus Christi beaches.

Your best bet for a clean swimming experience? South Padre is the place to go.

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