Florida

High levels of bacteria lead to no-swim warning for Indian River County beach

The Florida Department of Health in Indian River County issued a no-swim warning Thursday due to the high levels of bacteria at Coconut Point at Sebastian Inlet State Park, a press release says.
The Florida Department of Health in Indian River County issued a no-swim warning Thursday due to the high levels of bacteria at Coconut Point at Sebastian Inlet State Park, a press release says. Sebastian Inlet District

Indian River County residents might want to think twice about a Sebastian Inlet beach trip.

A no-swim warning was issued Thursday for Coconut Point at Sebastian Inlet State Park, according to a press release from the county’s health department.

Water samples taken last Monday revealed an unusually high amount of enterococci bacteria. Per federal and state recommendations, a single sample should not contain more than 70 colony forming units (CFUs). The sample taken from Sebastian Inlet contained 178 CFUs.

“The results of the sampling indicate that water contact may pose an increased risk of illness, particularly for susceptible individuals,” the release stated.

Enterococci are bacteria that live in the intestinal track of humans and animals. A high presence of enterococci suggests an above average amount of fecal matter in the water.

A review of Florida Healthy Beaches Program showed Sebastian Inlet was the only Indian River beach that exceeded enterococci standards.

The FHD will rescind the swimming advisory when subsequent samples show a decrease in enterococci.

For more information on water safety at local beaches, please visit the Florida Beaches Program Website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/ and select “Beach Water Quality” from the Environmental Health Topics List.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.
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