Enteric bacteria advisory issued: Avoid contact with water in Sandsprit Park and Stuart Causeway

Samples were collected on October 9th and 11th.

Results are above acceptable levels for enterococcus bacteria at both the Sandsprit Park and Stuart Causeway and an advisory was issued to avoid contact with the water in these areas.

All other sample locations are at acceptable levels.

The advisory will remain in effect until a series of acceptable samples results occur.

Samples will be taken again on Monday, October 16th.

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.

In addition, the Martin County Health Department conducts weekly St. Lucie River samples at four sites. These four sites are conducted as a special monitoring project.

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 storm water runoff, pets, wildlife and human sewage.

If enteric bacteria are present in high concentrations and are ingested while swimming or enter the skin through a cut or sore, they may cause upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rashes.

Advisory signs will be posted and residents are urged to avoid contact with the water, if higher than normal levels of enteric bacteria are present.

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