Gulf Water Quality
Generally, the Gulf
waters in Florida are very clean and healthy. Sometimes, during
certain conditions, like after storms or heavy rains, the water can
have temporarily high levels of bacteria. Before swimming, it's a good
idea to check the sources below if you are swimming on beaches that do
not have lifeguards and public notices.
Florida does monitor
the health aspects of its coastal waters. The coastal beach water samples
collected by the county health departments are analyzed for enterococci and
fecal coliform bacteria. High concentrations of these bacteria may
indicate the presence of microorganisms that could cause disease, infections, or
rashes. County health departments will issue health advisories or warnings
when these conditions are confirmed.
If you see signs on the beach warning of high concentrations of fecal coliform
or other bacteria, DO NOT GO IN THE WATER. Especially you should NEVER take
young children or infants into the water. If you are foolish enough to go in
anyway, please don't put your children at risk. Basically it is similar to
swimming in raw sewage. The water may LOOK clean, but the water tests tell the
real story. For reports on water testing near the beach
you plan to visit, go to this website http://www.myflorida.com
and click on "Floridian," then click on "Recreation and Sports," then "Beach Water Quality."
Or the following link should take you directly to the water quality test
results page: http://esetappsdoh.doh.state.fl.us/irm00beachwater/default.aspx