Update: The "No Swim" advisory issued Friday, September 7th for Bird Key Park Beach and Casperson Beach has been lifted. Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County officials received testing results today that were at a satisfactory level meeting both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state recreational water standards. Residents and visitors may return to swimming and other water sports at this beach site.
Previous story: For the second time in the past month, it’s not safe to go in the water at Bird Key Park.
County health officials issued a no-swim advisory for Bird Key Park today after water quality tests showed elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria. The area remains open, but officials recommend against water recreation while the advisory remains in place.
According to a release, the county believes the elevated bacteria levels are attributable to natural causes. Officials saw a wrack line of dead fish and decaying algae along the shoreline, a phenomenon associated with red tide that can act as a reservoir for bacteria. The county also cited rainfall, which washes pollutants into the water, as another possible cause.
Enterococcus bacteria in water can cause illness, particularly among the young, elderly or those with weak immune systems, the release stated. Affected waters can cause infections or rashes for individuals with cuts or sores.
A no-swim advisory is also in place for Caspersen Beach in Venice. Testing showed acceptable bacteria levels at all other Sarasota beaches.
Updated test results should be available Saturday.