A beach water advisory for Turtle Beach was lifted the afternoon of Oct. 22, the Sarasota County Health Department has announced.
Health Department officials received testing results from samples taken Friday, Oct. 21, that were at a satisfactory level; the results met both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state recreational, water standards, according to the Health Department.
Residents and visitors were allowed once again to swim and engage in other water sports at Turtle Beach.
Quintin Clark, environmental supervisor with the Health Department, told the Pelican Press Monday that staff had been unable to ascertain what had caused the higher bacteria count. “This is a problem up and down our coast,” he said. “There is no definite answer.”
Sarasota County Commissioner Jon Thaxton late last week had speculated in an email exchange on the county’s Web mail site that rainfall might have been a factor in the beach closing, as rainfall can increase runoff.
Asked whether the rainfall, which was associated with the cool front that moved into the area, might have had any bearing on the problem, Clark replied, “We can’t say with certainty … Perhaps it is possible.”
Residents and visitors can visit www.OurGulfEnvironment.net and click on “water monitoring” then “bacterial testing” to check beach water testing results of area Gulf beaches, or they may call the Sarasota County Health Department’s Environmental Health office at 861-6133.