The no swim advisory for North Lido Bech has been lifted, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Sarasota County officials said new test results should that the level of enterococcus bacteria met both the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state recreational water standards.
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Sarasota County health officials are telling beach to avoid the waters at North Lido Beach after finding high levels of enterococcus bacteria in the water Monday.
According to the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, the amount of bacteria was outside of “acceptable limits,” likely caused by a wrack line of dead sea life and algae impacted by the red tide hitting the rocks and shoreline. The FDOH also said rainfall could have also contributed to the elevated bacteria levels by “washing accumulated pollutants, including bacteria from birds, pet feces, and wildlife into local waters.”
However, it did say that there have been no reported sewage spills within a mile of the beach in the past two weeks.
“When these bacteria are found at high levels in recreational waters, there is a risk that some people may become ill,” said Tom Higginbotham, DOH-Sarasota Environmental administrator. “People especially those who are very young, elderly, who have a weak immune system or who swallow water while swimming can get stomach or intestinal illnesses. If water comes into contact with a cut or sore, people can get infections or rashes.”
The beach is still open for visitors, but until the advisory is lifted, the FDOH urges people to stay out of the water and avoid eating shellfish from the area. Finfish can be eaten if they are caught alive and filleted.
To help reduce bacteria levels, the FDOH recommends that beachgoers should not let their pets roam around, pick up pet waste, and keep children in diapers or those with diarrhea out of the water.
“Our coastline of over 30 miles of world-class beaches is a wonderful asset to our community,” said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. “Let’s work together to help preserve this amenity.”
Test results are expected Friday, which could help determine whether the advisory can be lifted.