Hillsborough County issued a health advisory today for the beaches at Picnic Island and Davis Islands due to the presence of enterococci bacteria.
Samples taken Monday were above the threshold established by the Environmental Protection Agency for enterococci bacteria. The beaches will be resampled this Monday, and when resampling indicates water quality is satisfactory, the advisory will be lifted.
This should be considered a potential risk to the bathing public, the county said.
Enterococci bacteria are normally in intestinal tracts of humans and animals, and might cause human disease, infections or rashes. The presence of the bacteria indicates fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
The county’s health department has been conducting beach monitoring at nine sites once every two weeks since August 2000 and weekly since August 2002 through the Florida Healthy Beaches Program.
Beachgoers can go to the state Department of Health to find information on beaches.