'No swim' advisories issued for several beaches in Sarasota, Manatee counties

Beachgoers are being advised to stay out of the water at several Manatee and Sarasota County beaches after elevated levels of bacteria were detected.

The Florida Department of Health issued the advisories after test results from July 25 and July 26 showed elevated levels of enteroccus bacteria in the water.

In Sarasota County, the advisories have been issued for the following beaches:

  • Bird Key Park/ Ringling Causeway
  • Venice Fishing Pier
  • Brohard Beach

Advisories had been in place for Siesta Key Beach, Manasota Key, Service Club Beach and Casperson Beach since Thursday, but were lifted Friday afternoon after health officials said test results showed that bacteria levels had returned to satisfactory levels, meeting both U.S. EPA and state recreational water standards. The next round of testing will take place on Monday.

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In Manatee County, the following beaches are also under a "no swim" advisory:

  • Bayfront Park North
  • Manatee Public Beach North
  • Coquina Beach North
  • Palma Sola South

Wading, swimming and water recreation are not recommended when "no swim" advisories are in place. Beaches not listed above are not currently under a "no swim" advisory.

"When these bacteria are found at high levels in recreational waters, there is a risk that some people may become ill," said Florida Department of Health-Sarasota Environmental Administrator Tom Higginbotham. "People, especially those who are very young, elderly or who have a weak immune system that swallow water while swimming can get stomach or intestinal illnesses. If water contacts a cut or sore, people can get infections or rashes."