TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you’re planning to go to Siesta Key Beach anytime soon, you’ll need to stay away from the water.
The beach is one of seven beaches in the Sarasota area that are under a precautionary “No Swim” advisory until further notice.
The other beaches are:
- Bird Key Park/ Ringling Causeway
- Service Club Beach
- Venice Fishing Pier
- Brohard Beach
- Casperson Beach
- Manasota Key
All seven beaches remain open, but no one should wade or swim in the water. You should also avoid eating shellfish such as crabs and shrimp collected on and around those beaches, according to the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota.
The health department said high levels of enterococcus bacteria were detected in recent samplings of the water. Enterococci is a type of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans, dogs and other animals. It can cause serious infections for humans and pets.
The bacteria comes from human sewage, pet waste, livestock, birds, stormwater runoff, sewage spills and other sources.
No sewage spills have been reported within a mile of the affected beaches, the department noted.
“When these bacteria are found at high levels in recreational waters, there is a risk that some people may become ill. People, especially those who are very young, elderly or who have a weak immune system that swallow water while swimming can get stomach or intestinal illnesses. If water contacts a cut or sore, people can get infections or rashes, ” said DOH-Sarasota Environmental Administrator Tom Higginbotham.
The health department is testing the water again on Thursday. The advisory could be lifted once test results show safe levels of bacteria. The department said it expects to have the results by Friday afternoon.