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C-FERST Issue Profile: Recreational Water Quality

Lakes, rivers, maritime beaches, and other recreational water bodies, provide environments where people can swim, fish, boat, and enjoy other recreational activities. These waters provide substantial benefits to health and well-being in communities. However, they can also pose human health risks if the waters are contaminated.

EPA conducts research to ensure that beaches, lakes, and other recreational waters are safe for human use. Chemical contaminants and disease-causing microorganisms are monitored in waters to ensure human health is not affected through recreational activities such as swimming or boating. This research builds a strong scientific foundation for up-to-date recreational water quality criteria designed to protect swimmers from illness due to exposure to pathogens in recreational waters.

To learn more about recreational waters and tools you can use to limit exposure to contaminants, see the resources below.