Sources of bathing water pollution in northern Tuscany (Italy): Effects of meteorological variables
This study was carried out in a popular tourist destination located in Italy, where short-term pollution posed the problem of low quality status of bathing waters (according to European Directive) owing to the fecal contamination caused by drainage ditches. Our goal was to understand the role of meteorological conditions on freshwater and seawater bacterial indicator levels, and the impact of polluted streams on seawater contamination. To this aim, results from surface waters were analyzed during five bathing seasons, from 2011 to 2015. Our results demonstrated a relationship between bacterial densities and rainfall amount and a time-dependent dilution effect of the sea between the two halves of each bathing season. This analytical survey confirmed the strategic role of meteorological variables in bathing waters quality, and it could be a support for generation and development of predicting models of indicator levels for bathing area.
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