TAMPA, FLA – The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County has issued a public health advisory for Simmons Park Beach due to high bacteria levels. This should be considered a potential risk to the bathing public, and swimming is not recommended. Samples taken, were above the threshold for enterococci bacteria. The beach will be re-sampled in a week.
Simmons Park Beach is located near Ruskin, FL, west of US-41 and north of 19th Avenue NW.
When re-sampling indicates that the water is within the satisfactory range, the advisory will be lifted.
About Health Advisory for High Bacteria Levels
An advisory is issued when the beach action value is 70.5 or higher. This is set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County has been conducting coastal beach water quality monitoring at nine sites once every two weeks since August 2000, and weekly since August 5, 2002 through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program.
The water samples are being analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant coastal beach water quality problems.
Please visit the Florida Department of Health’s Beach Water Quality website. To review the beach water sampling results for reporting counties, click on a county name.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.