The Florida Department of Health has issued a “No Swim Advisory” for the south access of Palma Sola Beach, located about 1,000 feet west of 81st Street West on the south side of the causeway.
Currently, no other beaches are under advisory in Manatee County.
“A no swim advisory indicates that water contact may post an increased risk of infectious diseases to humans,” states a press release from Thomas Lovino, communications director for the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County.
Lovino said health officials received testing from Palma Sola Beach South on Sept. 5 showing elevated levels of enterococci bacteria. New tests will be taken Sept. 18 with results expected Sept. 20. The advisory will remain intact until levels meet the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency safety guidelines.
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“Manatee County has conducted beach water quality monitoring since August 2002 through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program,” the release states. “The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) which may cause human disease, infections or rashes. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to provide residents with up-to-date information about water quality to protect the health of all Manatee County beach goers.”
A similar advisory was initiated in late January and lifted by Feb. 8. January’s no swim advisory was the first in two years when a sewer main leaked into the bay, elevating bacteria levels.
Additional information about the Healthy Beaches program can be found by calling (941) 748-0747 ext. 1340, or by visiting the Florida Department of Health’s website at www.FloridaHealth.gov and selecting Beach Water Quality under the Environmental Health tab of the navigation bar.