Four Bay Area beaches under bacteria health advisories

- Health advisories related to high bacteria levels have been issued for Robert J. Strickland and Anclote River Park beaches in Pasco County and Ben T. Davis and Davis Islands beaches in Hillsborough County.

The health advisories are a result of testing for enteric bacteria (enterococci), which normally inhabits 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.  

Both counties said when re-sampling shows bacterial levels have gone back to normal, the advisories will be lifted.

Water quality categorizations are based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) standard for enterococci and beaches with a beach action value of 70.5 or higher are given an advisory.

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough and Pasco counties has been conducting weekly coastal beach water quality monitoring at nine sites since August 5, 2002 through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program

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