‘Nowcasting’ beach water quality

(American Chemical Society) Arriving at your favorite beach only to discover it's closed because of bacterial contamination can be a bummer. But even worse would be unknowingly swimming in waters polluted with fecal material — a very real possibility, given that current detection methods can require up to 24 hours to obtain results. Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology have identified computer models that provide accurate short-term forecasts, or 'nowcasts,' of beach water quality.

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