The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through the end of October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, 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 whether Florida has significant coastal beach water quality problems and whether future beach monitoring efforts are necessary.
Site Name Enterococci Water Quality
SP-1 Miramar Beach 52 Moderate
SP-3 Dune Allen Beach 40 Moderate
SP-4 Blue Mountain Beach 4 Good
SP-5 Grayton Beach 8 Good
SP-7 Holly Street Beach 12 Good
SP-8 Eastern Lake Beach 64 Moderate
SP-9 Inlet Beach Access 220 Poor
Water quality classifications are based upon United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended criteria and Florida Healthy Beaches Program Categories:
Good = 0 – 35 Enterococci CFU per 100 ml of marine
Moderate = 36 – 70 Enterococci CFU per 100 ml of marine water
Poor = 71 or greater Enterococci CFU per 100 ml of marine water
A Health Advisory has been issued for the Inlet Beach access based on the enterococci standard recommended by the EPA. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public
If you should have any questions, please contact DOH-Walton at (850) 892-8021 or visit the Florida Department of Health’s Beach Water Quality website www.floridahealth.gov/healthyenvironments/beach-water-quality/index.html.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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