The Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) has issued an advisory for the waters at Fort De Soto’s North Beach based on the marine water bacterial indicator recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This area should be considered a potential health risk to swimmers.
DOH-Pinellas conducts saltwater beach testing through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tracts of humans and animals which may cause human disease, infections or rashes.
The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water run-off, pets, wildlife and sewage. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant beach water quality problems.
Weather permitting, the next sampling will be conducted on June 12.
Water quality classifications are based upon the EPA’s recommended standard for enterococci of no more than 70 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of marine water. More information about the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is available online.
Information courtesy of Pinellas County. For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to www.PinellasHealth.com.