No-swim advisory issued for 3 beaches in Sarasota County

No-swim advisories have been issued for three beaches in Sarasota County.
No-swim advisories have been issued for three beaches in Sarasota County.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County health officials issued no-swim advisories for three beaches Thursday:

  • Siesta Key Beach
  • North Lido Beach
  • Lido Casino

The amount of enterococcus bacteria found during water quality testing on Monday, Aug. 8 was outside acceptable limits, the health department said.

Beaches remain open but people are urged not to wade, swim, or engage in water recreation at these beaches until the advisory is lifted.

You should not eat shellfish such as crabs and shrimp collected in the immediate area of any beach with a no-swim advisory in place. Finfish caught live and healthy can be eaten if filleted.

Officials have determined the cause of the elevated bacteria levels is likely due to natural sources. A line of decaying algae was found around the rocks and along the shoreline. Wrack lines, which provide food for shorebirds and wildlife, act as natural bacteria reservoirs.

Significant rainfall amounts may also be contributing to the higher bacteria levels by washing accumulated pollutants from the land surface into waterways.

No sewage spills have been reported within one mile of the posted beaches in the past two weeks, teh health department noted.

Some bacteria are naturally present in the environment. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has found a link between health and water quality.

Signs advising the public not to swim or engage in water recreation will stay in place until follow-up water testing results meet the EPA’s recreational water quality standards.

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County resampled the beaches Thursday and expect those results late Friday afternoon.

Enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources. These include pet waste, livestock, birds, land-dwelling and marine wildlife, stormwater runoff, and human sewage from failed septic systems and sewage spills.

For more information, visit https://ourgulfenvironment.net and click on water monitoring and then bacterial testing to check beach water testing results of area Gulf beaches.

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