A Health Advisory has been issued for Simmons Park beach based on the criteria for enterococci bacteria recommended by the EPA.
This should be considered a potential risk to the bathing public.
Samples taken Monday were above threshold for enterococci bacteria. The beach will be re-sampled, Monday, February 17, 2014.
When re-sampling indicates that the water is within the satisfactory range, the advisory will be lifted.
Water quality categorizations are based upon: United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended standard for enterococci of no more than 104 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of marine water.
The Hillsborough County Health Department has been conducting coastal beach water quality monitoring at nine sites once every two weeks since August 2000, and weekly since August 5, 2002 through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring
Program. 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. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant coastal beach water quality problems.
Source: Hillsborough County Health Department