Danger lurking in the water of 6 Tampa Bay beaches: Where to avoid and why

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you’re hoping to go swimming or fishing in Hillsborough County this Labor Day Weekend, you may want to reconsider because county health officials say at least six beaches are unsafe to swim in.

Many are being advised to stay away from beaches like Ben T. Davis because of dangerous bacteria lurking in the water.

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said the amount of Enterococci bacteria is too high, making the water dangerous to swim in. They said that bacteria is usually found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals and is an indication of fecal pollution.

According to the health department, that pollution could come from stormwater runoff, pets, wildlife, and human sewage.

Here’s a list of the Tampa Bay beaches closed now and until further notice due to this dangerous bacteria:

  • Bahia
  • Ben T. Davis
  • Davis Islands
  • Cypress point
  • E.G. Simmons
  • Picnic Island beaches

Swimming in the water or eating fish out of the water with high Enterococci bacteria levels could cause rashes, infections, or disease, according to scientists.

The bacteria was detected during the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. The purpose of that program is to determine whether Florida has coastal beach water quality problems.

The six beaches were tested this past Wednesday and will be re-sampled this coming Wednesday. When the water is safe, the advisory will be lifted.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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