Study: Don't use Florida coasts as toilets

Beach closures like the ones announced in Miami-Dade this week will continue throughout Florida as long as state and local governments continue to use the state's coastal waters as a toilet, according to a two-year study of wastewater treatment facilities by the Clean Water Network.

Miami-Dade health officials lifted the swimming ban on all but one of the 12 affected beaches on Thursday, but the one-day closures were among the most extensive in recent memory, said Michael Rybolowik, an environmental supervisor at the Miami-Dade County Health Department who manages the public swimming pools and healthy beaches programs.

The Clean Water Network reviewed wastewater treatment records at sewage plants along the Gulf Coast, from Pensacola to Key West, and found dozens of examples of failing pipes transporting raw sewage into ocean outfalls, treatment systems that are over capacity, equipment failures, inadequately treated wastewater and expired permits

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