by: Dylan Abad
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Health Advisory was issued for two Hillsborough County parks after high levels of bacteria were discovered, according to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
Samples taken at Picnic Island and Cypress Point found above average amounts of enteric bacteria, which is an indication of “fecal pollution,” according to the department. Officials said the bacteria may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
The bacteria has been known to cause human disease, infections, or rashes. Due to the higher levels of bacteria, swimming or bathing is not recommended at the parks.
An advisory is issued after the beach action value is measured 70.5 or higher. The number is set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The department has been performing water quality checks at nine sites once every two weeks since August 2000, according to a news release.
The beach will be re-sampled in one week. When re-sampling indicates that the water is within the satisfactory range, the advisory will be lifted.
Pictured: Generic bacteria