Fort Myers, Fla.— The Lee County Health Department is posting an advisory on Lynn Hall and Bonita beaches as unsafe for swimmers due to high levels of bacteria identified in water sampling.
Tests completed today, indicate that the water quality at Lynn Hall and Bowditch beaches on Estero Island do not meet the safety criteria for enterococcus and coliform bacteria recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Department of Health. Bonita Beach Park at 27954 Hickory Boulevard in Bonita Springs has a high enterococcus count, missing the maximum allowed by one point.
Officials believe water contact at any of these three beaches may pose an increased risk of disease, particularly for susceptible individuals.
• We recommend not swimming at Lynn Hall, Bowditch and Bonita Park beaches.
Enterococcus and coliform bacteria normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of an elevated concentration of these bacteria is an indicator of pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets, wildlife, or sewage.
Elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria have been associated with an increased risk of swimming-associated gastroenteritis illness (diarrhea and abdominal pain).
Several other beaches with high bacteria levels were retested and found to be within the acceptable range. Routine water sampling of all beaches will be taken again on Monday, August 15, 2011, with results available 24 hours later.
This advisory will continue until bacteria levels reach an acceptable level.
For more information, please view the internet website at www.leechd.gov select Services, Environmental Health, and then Healthy Beaches, or call the Lee County Health Department at (239) 274-2200 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.