Manatee County beaches now safe for swimmers, new tests show

No-swim advisories at several Manatee County beaches have now been lifted.
No-swim advisories at several Manatee County beaches have now been lifted.(WWSB)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 9:46 AM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - All no-swim advisories along beaches in Manatee County have been lifted, the Florida Department of Health announced Wednesday.

The four Manatee County beaches that had been under an advisory -- Bayfront Park North, Manatee Public Beach North, Coquina Beach North and Palma Sola South -- are now safe, after tests show bacteria counts have dropped to acceptable levels.

“Today, we’ll be flipping the signs at the sites where no-swim advisories had been posted to indicate to beachgoers that the advisories have been lifted,” said health department spokesman Christopher Tittel.

The health department collects water samples at select beaches each week. The samples are then sent to labs to determine whether or not levels of enteric bacteria, or enterococci – which can bring human disease, infections or rashes – are acceptable based on EPA standards. If levels are read as unacceptable, a no-swim advisory is issued; a no-swim advisory is lifted once the levels read as acceptable.

The announcement follows Sarasota County, which lifted advisories Tuesday for beaches at Bird Key/Ringling Causeway, the Venice Fishing Pier, and Brohard Beach.

On July 28, the beaches tested positive for higher levels of enterococcus bacteria, making them unsafe to swim in.

Additional information about the Healthy Beaches program can be found by calling 941-714-7593, or by visiting the Florida Department of Health’s website at www.FloridaHealth.gov and selecting Beach Water Quality under the Environmental Health tab of the navigation bar.

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