Bacteria levels elevated in some Martin County waters

Martin County Health Department (Stuart)

The Martin County Health Department is urging residents to avoid contact with the St. Lucie River at Leighton Park and near the mouth of Bessey Creek in Palm City after testing revealed higher than normal levels of enteric bacteria, according to TCPalm.

Potential health risks for those who ingest or come in contact with the water include upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rashes.

Through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring program, the Martin County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health conducts beach and river water sampling in eight locations throughout the county every other week.

The water samples are analyzed for enterococci bacteria, which normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of these enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets, wildlife and human sewage.

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