‘No swimming’ at 3 beaches with high bacteria levels

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — High levels of fecal-related bacteria found at three local beaches led authorities to issue a ‘no swimming’ advisory to beach goers.

Samples show that “water contact may pose an increased risk of illness, particularly for susceptible individuals,” according to the Florida Department of Health in Indian River County. The samples contained the bacteria enterococci, which is an indicator of fecal pollution that may come from storm water run-off, wildlife, pets and human sewage.

Health department officials collected the samples Monday at South Beach, Humiston Beach and Sexton Plaza Beach. The samples were sent to the Flowers Chemical Laboratory in Port St. Lucie for testing, health department spokeswoman Stacy Brock said.

Health officials on Wednesday got the water testing results, which were more than the recreational water quality standard for enterococci. The standard is set under state and federal guidelines.

The health department has conducted water testing at 16 sites, including the three aforementioned beaches, bi-weekly since August 2002 through the Florida Healthy Beaches program, officials said. The sampling sites are chosen based on how many times the recreational water is used and how close the water is to pollution sources.



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