A beach water advisory has been issued for Turtle Beach, after Sarasota County Health Department officials found a concerning level of enterococci (enteric) bacteria in water samples taken Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Signs advising the public to avoid the water in the Turtle Beach area have been posted, and will remain in place until officials find water testing results satisfactory.
The county health department plans to conduct follow-up samplings today, and results are expected tomorrow afternoon.
The recent red tide algae bloom in the area is not implicated to be the cause of the elevated levels of enteric bacteria.
According the press release, enteric bacteria can come from stormwater runoff, pet waste and wildlife and human sewage. When detected in high concentrations in recreational waters, these bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, infections or rashes if ingested while swimming or after entering the skin through a cut or sore.
Residents and visitors may still use the Turtle beach area, but are urged not to wade, swim or participate in any other water recreation event until the advisory is lifted. It is still safe to fish and consume fish caught in this area.
Other beaches in the area are not under a beach water advisory. Residents can go to www.ourgulfenvironment.net and click on water monitoring, then bacterial testing to check the beach water results, or can contact the Sarasota County Health Department’s Environmental Health office at 941-861-6133.
Contact Eddie Kirsch at [email protected].