High Bacteria Level Leads To Daytona Swim Advisory

By on February 22, 2019 in WNDB News

UPDATE (02-24-19): Advisory is lifted for ISB and Silver Beach. Still in place for Main Street. More water testing will take place today.

Earlier reporting below.

Daytona Beach, FL – If you want to take a dip in the ocean today, avoid the core tourist area of Daytona Beach.

That’s the advice from Volusia County health officials as water testing reveals higher than normal levels of a bacteria normally found in bird waste.

The affected beach area runs from Main Street south to Silver Beach Avenue, according to county health department spokesperson Holly Smith.

“This is a precautionary advisory and not a closure,” Smith added. “A swim advisory means that contact with the water may pose an increased risk of infectious disease based upon Environmental Protection Agency criteria.”

The affected area also includes the beaches north and south of International Speedway Boulevard.

The latest bi-weekly test showed enterococci bacteria colony forming units ranging between 85 to 156 per 100 milliliters of water, making the water quality “poor” by EPA standards.

Enterococci is usually found in the intestines of humans and other animals, including sea birds. The bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illness, upper respiratory infections or skin infections if it comes into contact with open wounds or skin sores.

Warning signs are in place throughout the affected area to tell swimmers about the test results and to advise them to not go in the water.

Samples at the other 10 testing sites monitored by Volusia’s Healthy Beaches Program showed enterococci bacteria within the normal range, according to the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County.

Water quality testers will be back out today to test the water, per Smith. Should those results show lower levels, the advisory may be lifted as soon as tomorrow (February 23rd).

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