July 8, 2014 - Hillsborough County issued a health advisory today for the water at Picnic Island Beach and Davis Island Beach due to the presence of enterococci bacteria. As a result, the beaches have been closed for swimming.
Patrons can still sunbath on the beach or picnic, but it is recommended that they not enter the water.
Samples taken Monday were above the threshold established by the Environmental Protection Agency for enterococci bacteria. The beaches will be re-sampled July 14, and when re-sampling indicates water quality is satisfactory, the advisory will be lifted.
Enterococci bacteria are normally in intestinal tracts of humans and animals, and might cause human disease, infections or rashes. The presence of the bacteria indicates fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
The county’s Health Department has been conducting beach monitoring at nine sites once every two weeks since August 2000 and weekly since August 2002 through the Florida Healthy Beaches Program.
Beachgoers can go to the state Department of Health to find more information on beaches.
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