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Sarasota Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 6 years ago

UPDATE: Department of Health lifts "no-swim" advisory at Siesta

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Health officials advised beachgoers that it's safe to swim again.
by: Jack Short Staff Writer

Update: Advisory lifted

On Friday, the state lifted the all advisories for Siesta. Florida Department of Health officials received test results for samples that meet criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and state recreational water standards on Friday, Oct. 30.

Previously: 

The Florida Department of Health issued an advisory against water activities on Thursday, Oct. 29 at Siesta Beach after finding elevated levels of harmful bacteria in the water there.

According to a Sarasota County press release, the Florida Department of Health, which monitors water quality, may receive the results of follow up tests as early as Friday, Oct. 30, at which point it will determine whether or not to issue an “all clear.”

Siesta beach remains open, but people should avoid water activities, according to the Department of Health.

Department of Health Sarasota Environmental Administrator Tom Higginbotham said in that press release, “When these bacteria are detected in high concentrations in recreational waters, there is a risk that some people who swallow water while swimming or have contact with water entering the skin through a cut or sore may become ill with gastrointestinal illnesses, infections or rashes.”

Enteric bacteria, the same kind that caused the “no swim” advisory, live in the intestines of humans and animals, according to the Enviromental Protection Agency, and their presence correlates with health effects in people.

According to the press release, officials believe bacteria levels could have been elevated because of high surf, decaying matter in wrack lines, large numbers of shore birds feeding, and recent, heavy rains that wash pet waste and pollutants into the gulf.

Nearby beaches where bacteria was found within acceptable limits include North and South Lido beaches, Bird Key Park, Turtle Beach and several south county beaches.

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