Danger lurks in the water of 6 Tampa Bay beaches: where to avoid and why

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you’re hoping to go swimming or fishing in Hillsborough County this Labor Day weekend, you may want to reconsider your decision as county health officials say at least six beaches are dangerous for swimming.

Many are advised to stay away from beaches as Ben T. Davis because of the dangerous bacteria lurking in the water.

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said the amount of enterococcal bacteria is too high, making the water unsafe for swimming. They said the bacteria are usually found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals and are an indication of fecal pollution.

According to the Ministry of Health, this pollution could come from stormwater runoff, domestic animals, wildlife and human sewage.

Here is a list of Tampa Bay beaches closed now and until further notice due to this dangerous bacteria:

  • Bahia
  • Ben T. Davis
  • Davis Islands
  • Cypress tip
  • EG Simmons
  • Picnic Island beaches

Swimming in water or eating fish out of the water with high levels of enterococci could cause rashes, infections or illnesses, scientists say.

The bacteria were detected during the Healthy Beach Monitoring Program. The purpose of this program is to determine if Florida has any coastal beach water quality issues.

All six tracks were tested last Wednesday and will be resampled next Wednesday. When the water is safe, the advisory will be lifted.

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