Water Quality Report
WATER QUALITY UPDATE FOR JULY 15, 2022
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is advising the public not to enter the water at Bonita Beach Park due to high levels of the Enterococcus bacteria. The park is at 27954 Hickory Boulevard in Bonita Springs.
Tests completed July 14 indicated that the water at the park did not meet the recreational quality criteria for Enterococcus bacteria, which are found inside the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of an elevated concentration of these bacteria in the water at the shoreline is an indicator of a nearby sewage leak, pet waste in storm water runoff, and wildlife activity.
Getting in the water, walking along the water's edge, even being splashed by the water poses an increased risk of disease, particularly for the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and the very young. Animals are susceptible, too, so pets should be kept from reaching the waterline. Elevated levels of Enterococcus bacteria have been associated with an increased risk of diarrhea and abdominal pain.
This advisory will continue until bacteria levels are below acceptable limits. The results of follow-up tests will announced July 19. For more information, go to http://lee.floridahealth.gov/
Blue-green algae health alert cancelled
A health alert issued last week due to an outbreak of blue-green algae at the Davis Boat Ramp near the Franklin Locks on the Caloosahatchee River has been lifted. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection gave the all-clear after taking samples of the water and no longer finding high levels of cyanobacteria toxins.
The Davis Boat Ramp and the nearby Alva Boat Ramp both allow the public to launch watercraft into the Caloosahatchee River. The water surrounding the ramps tests positive for high levels of cyanobacteria, which is a toxin at the heart of a blue-green algae bloom, rather frequently during the summer.
In fact, the Lee County Environmental Lab reported blue-green algae toxins in water samples taken from the Alva Boat Ramp earlier this week, which appeared as "yellow-green scum along" the shore.
Not only does that often result in a nasty scum on the surface, along with floating dead mats of algae, but it can also make people and animals sick when interacting with the water or breathing nearby air. Exposure to high levels of blue-green algae and their toxins can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, as well as skin, eye or throat irritation, and allergic reactions or breathing difficulties
If any type of water quality alert is issued, you can find the details here in WGCU’s Water Quality Report.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission compiles real-time information on red tide, including maps and reports, on the FWRI Red Tide website. The site also provides related links to additional information including satellite images, red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, and contacts at the Florida Poison Information Center, which people can contact if they believe exposure to red tide has made them ill. The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences has current satellite images searching for early signs of red tide off Southwest Florida , and Mote Marine Laboratory's Beach Conditions Report provides up-to-date information about which, if any, beaches in Southwest Florida are being affected by a red tide. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has a dashboard with a plethora of real-time information about harmful algae blooms. Learn more about harmful algae blooms here.