Miami-Dade County

Five Miami-Dade beaches have high poop levels. Check before you swim this weekend.

Why do they close beaches in Florida?

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection frequently monitors water quality, and routinely collects algal bloom samples. When toxicity levels present a risk to human health, the state will issue advisories and may also post warning signs.
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection frequently monitors water quality, and routinely collects algal bloom samples. When toxicity levels present a risk to human health, the state will issue advisories and may also post warning signs.

The good news: Forecasters say there should be a lot of sun this weekend making for perfect beach days.

The bad news: Five popular South Florida beaches are under a no swim advisory because of high poop levels.

Many people are probably thinking: “That sounds familiar.”

Especially for Crandon North and Crandon South where in recent months there have been several advisories issued. An advisory for those two was just lifted Aug. 23. An advisory for Virginia Beach was issued Thursday and lifted Friday.

The other three beaches under this week’s advisory: Dog Beach Rickenbacker Causeway; Cape Florida and Key Biscayne (Beach Club), which was not quite over the recommended level, but it was close.

According to a Florida Department of Health news release, water samples at all but Key Biscayne (Beach Club) didn’t meet federal and state standards for enterococci, a bacteria that normally inhabits the intestinal track of humans and animals.

Swimming in water with high levels of the bacteria can cause disease, infections or illness.

Since 2002, Florida’s Health Department has monitored water quality at 16 sites in Miami-Dade.

While its not clear what is causing the high poop levels, the health department says it can come from storm water runoff, wildlife, pets and human sewage.

For more information visit the Florida Healthy Beaches Program at http://www.flhealth.gov and select Beach Water Quality, from the Environmental Health topics list.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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