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Health Advisory Issued for Picnic Island Beach

Water samples resulted above threshold for enterococci bacteria this week. This should be considered a potential risk to the bathing public, officials say.

The Hillsborough County Health Department has issued a health advisory for Picnic Island Beach, according to a press release.

Samples taken this week were above threshold for enterococci bacteria based on the criteria recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This should be considered a potential risk to the bathing public, the release said.

“The water samples are being analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage,” wrote Steve Huard, public information officer for Hillsborough County Health Department.

The beach at 7409 Picnic Island Blvd. will be re-sampled on March 5. When re-sampling indicates that the water is within the satisfactory range the advisory will be lifted.

The Hillsborough County Health Department has been conducting coastal beach water quality monitoring at nine sites weekly since 2002 through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program.

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