Health advisories have been issued at the parks.
FORT WALTON BEACH — Health advisories have been issued for two Okaloosa County parks after water testers found unhealthy levels of fecal bacteria.
According to a press release from the Florida Department of Health, Liza Jackson Park in Fort Walton Beach and Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville have been issued health advisories. The health advisory is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.
The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa) conducts bi-weekly saltwater beach water quality monitoring at 11 sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) 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 stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife and human sewage.