LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Delaware, Maryland and Virginia have pretty clean beaches, according to an annual water report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Testing the Waters 2014” says Delware’s beaches rank first, Maryland’s rank fourth and Virginia’s rank sixth on of a list of 30 states where the beach water quality was tested for safety. The other best-ranked states are New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (3) and North Carolina (5).

Ohio ranked last. Seven of its beaches are listed in the report as “repeat offenders,” beaches that have had persistent contamination problems with water samples failing to meet public health benchmarks more than 25 percent of the time each year from 2009 to 2013.

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Meanwhile, several beaches popular among DMV vacationers are on the council’s list of the nation’s 35 “superstars,” which have excellent water quality. Those are Dewey Beach-Swedes in Delaware, Point Lookout State Park and Assateague State Park in Maryland and several areas of Virginia Beach — at 28th Street, at 45th Street, Little Island Beach North and Back Bay Beach.

The report says illnesses associated with polluted beach water include stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of infections associated with recreational water use has steadily increased over the past several decades.

This year, 10 percent of the beach water samples taken by the council failed the safety test.


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