‘Fecal pollution’: Health department issues swim advisory for Vilano Beach

The Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County has issued a swim advisory for Vilano Beach based on the criteria for fecal indicator bacteria, according to a press release issued Friday.

The DOH-St. Johns County Health Department has been conducting saltwater beach water quality monitoring for six beaches on a seasonal bi-weekly basis from March through October as part of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. The beach water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals and which may indicate increased risk of human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.

This should be considered a potential health risk; public bathing and swimming is not recommended, according to the release.

Those with questions should contact the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County at 209-3250 or visit the Department of Health’s Internet Beach Water Quality website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/index.html.