Beach at South Haven, Michigan. (Credit: Phizzy/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Thanks to a $500,000 state grant, public health officials in eleven Michigan counties will be able to use a faster method for testing E. coli levels at beaches, according to the NBC television affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Samples collected at the beaches will be tested at Hope College, Grand Valley State University and other locations receiving new testing equipment.
The quick-acting test provides same-day results, allowing ample time to issue warnings or close beaches if necessary. Older E. Coli tests need at least a day to determine whether or not E. coli is present in beach water.
The new test uses a chain reaction to pinpoint E. coli’s presence in sampled beach water. Daily reports of the quicker results will be available on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s BeachGuard website and via the myBeachCast app for Android and iPhones.