Brazil Fails to Reduce the Number of Polluted Beaches

Poor sanitation keeps the Brazilian coast dirty, according to Folha's survey

Brazil has not made progress in cleaning up its coastline, according to a survey carried out annually by Folha in the summer, which officially began this Tuesday (21).

In 2021, the volume of monitored points along the coast considered good (37%), that is, suitable for bathing in all measurements, was the same as recorded in 2016, the first year of data collection. Places classified as regular (25%) and bad (9%) also stayed the same.

Ilhabela, SP, 15.12.2021. (Foto: Mathilde Missioneiro/Folhapress) - Folhapress

The bad beaches, unsuitable for bathing in more than half of the measurements, had a slight drop from 16% to 12%. The share of points that were not monitored, however, grew from 14% to 17% in the same period.

The information comes from environmental agencies in 14 coastal states, with the exception of Pará, Piauí and Amapá, which do not measure or did not respond. The period considered is always from November to October, excluding Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul, which only measure during the high season.

The polluted sea is a thermometer of the situation of basic sanitation in Brazil, as the parameter is the amount of fecal coliforms in the water. The country's stagnation in beach quality, therefore, is a symptom of its slowness in expanding the sewage collection and treatment network.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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