SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Several Sarasota County beaches are under a “no swim” advisory after water quality testing found the amount of enterococcus bacteria outside acceptable limits, officials said.
The following beaches are impacted by the advisory:
- Siesta Key Beach
- North Lido Beach
- Lido Casino
Health officials said that the beaches will remain open but wading, swimming and water recreations are not recommended.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County said it resampled the beaches Thursday. The results are expected to come in on Friday afternoon.
Health officials said enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources, including pet waste, livestock, birds, land-dwelling and marine wildlife, storm water runoff and human sewage from failed septic systems.
The rapid response team from Sarasota County said it has determined that the cause of the elevated bacteria levels is likely due to natural sources.
“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 Tom Higginbotham.
Health officials said you should not eat shellfish, such as crabs and shrimp, collected in the immediate area of any beach with a no-swim advisory in place. Finfish caught live and healthy can be eaten if filleted.