The Florida Department of Health has issued a health advisory for several Tampa Bay beaches due to high bacteria levels in the water.
The health department does not recommend swimming at Bahia, Ben T. Davis, Davis Islands, Cypress Point, E.G. Simmons, and Picnic Island beaches. Health leaders say water samples showed above normal levels of enterococci bacteria.
The bacteria normally inhabit the intestinal tracts of animals and humans and can cause infections or rashes. According to health leaders, the presence of the bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution – a result of stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
Water samples will again be taken next Wednesday, Sep. 8. If bacteria levels have lowered, then the health department says the advisory will be lifted.