Swimming at Jacó, the Central Pacific’s most popular beach, may be hazardous to your health. According to a study by the National Water and Sewer Institute, fecal coliform bacteria counts soared as high as 1,100 and 2,400 parts per 100 milliliters of water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards advise against swimming in waters with more than 400 parts per 100 mL of fecal coliform.
The Public Health Ministry has promised to crack down on local businesses, residential neighborhoods and two shantytowns directly adjacent to rivers that empty in Jacó’s beach waters.
A year ago at Tamarindo beaches, in the northwestern province of Guancaste, fecal counts reached 3.1 million.