UPDATE: According to the Florida Department of Health all beaches in Palm Beach County are now open for swimming.
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Four Palm Beach County beaches are closed to swimming because of elevated levels of bacteria in the water.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the following beaches have poor water quality, based on recent tests:
- Dubois Park in Jupiter
- Kreusler Park in Lake Worth Beach
- Ocean Inlet Park in Ocean Ridge
- Lantana Beach
Beachgoers are urged not to swim at those locations until further notice.
Health officials will retest the water, and once the bacteria levels fall into an acceptable range, the advisory will be lifted.
Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program
Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County News Release — The Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County has been conducting saltwater beach water quality sampling since August 5, 2002 as part of the Florida Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. We are presently sampling thirteen (13) beaches on a bi-weekly basis. The water samples are being examined for enterococci bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, and which may cause human disease, infections or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine Florida’s beach water quality.
Water quality classifications are based upon:
United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended criteria for enterococci is:
- Good = 0-35 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water
- Moderate = 36-70 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water
- Poor = 71 or greater Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water or 36 or greater enterococci per 100ml of marine water as a geometric mean over a five week period.
An Advisory is issued for a beach that samples in the “Poor” range of the EPA standards. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.
If you should have any questions, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County at (561)837-5988, or visit the Department of Health’s Internet Beach Water Quality website (www.doh.state.fl.us, click on the drop down arrow next to “Choose Subject” and then select “Beach Water Quality”).