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Bacteria Levels High at Five Beaches

The Pinellas County Health Department issued a saltwater advisory, after monitoring results showed a high concentration of fecal pollution. The next testing is July 30.

The Pinellas County Health Department has issued a beach advisory for the
waters at the following beaches, based on the marine water bacterial indicator recommended by the EPA:

  • Honeymoon Island, Dunedin
  • Sand Key Park, Clearwater
  • Indian Rocks Beach (1700 Gulf Blvd.)
  • Madeira Beach - Archibald Park
  • Redington Shores near 182nd Ave. W

These areas should be considered a potential health risk to swimmers. The next sampling will be conducted on July 30, a news release said.

The Pinellas County Health Department 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, and which may cause human disease, infections or rashes.

The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets, wildlife and sewage. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant beach water quality problems.

Water quality classifications are based upon: United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended standard for enterococci of no more than 104 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of marine water.

For more information about the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program, visit
floridashealth.com. Click on the "Floridians and Visitors" icon, then scroll to the "Food, Water, Air, Land" section and select "Beach Water Quality."

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