High levels of bacteria at Roosevelt Bridge, continuing near Palm City’s Leighton Park

(Source: MC Health Department)


Due to high levels of bacteria, residents are urged to avoid contact with river water near Leighton Park, Palm City, and The Roosevelt Bridge, Stuart. Health risks 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.

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.

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