What's in the water is a concern

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 4:42 pm | Updated: 9:38 pm, Fri Oct 25, 2013.

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL - There is a lot of extra water lying around these days. Sarasota County officials say we should all be taking a few extra precautions because of what's in it like bugs and waste.

Mosquito killing crew members like Chad Allen have a challenge. "It is quite difficult because the water is so widespread."

In the past few months Wade Brenna with Mosquito Management says there has been no indication diseases like Encephalitis are here. It's an important time of the year though. "We are looking out for disease all year round but this time of year historically we do have a spike in diseases."

Brenna says it's important right now for all of us to look around for anything outside holding water. "Our crews are doing everything we can possibly do. It is really important we get the public's help as well. Those are the mosquitoes that are going to be biting you during the day."

Little larva isn't all which could be lounging around. "Whenever you have flooding conditions you have water flowing in places it doesn't normally flow." Tom Higginbotham with the state and county health department says right now some of the standing water could contain things like pesticides, fertilizers, and organisms from waste. "It can pick up bacteria and pathogens from accumulated bird and animal waste. Also, form the soil itself."

Human waste is another concern. The city of Sarasota pumping thousands of gallons out during the storm. Higginbotham says there were no major reports of overflows. As far as septic tanks go. "Septic systems are installed at a level to keep them out of the seasonal high water table."

The county also says residents should be aware of problems with underground wells. Don't let pets play in puddles and then come indoors and try to keep kids out of them too. "It accumulates in storm water retention areas and ditches. It's good idea to avoid those areas and don't let the kids play in them."

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