Published: Jul 03, 2013 1:56 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 03, 2013 4:54 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is advising the public not to enter the water at Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach due to high levels of bacteria identified in routine testing. The city has closed the beach through the holiday weekend.

Tests completed today indicate that the water quality at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach does not meet the safety criteria for enterococcus bacteria recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Department of Health. Water contact may pose an increased risk of disease, particularly for susceptible individuals.

-The Health Department recommends not swimming at Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach on the southeast end of Cape Coral.

Enterococcus 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).

This advisory will continue until bacteria levels are below the accepted EPA level. New test results should be available on Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach on Tuesday, July 9.

For more information go to www.leechd.com, then click on Beach Water Status, or contact the DOH-Lee Environmental Engineering office at (239) 274-2200 during regular business hours.