Florida Department Of Health In Pinellas County Issues Precautionary Swim Advisory
September 01, 2023
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) has issued a public health
advisory for Clearwater Beach, Mandalay Park and Sand Key due to high bacteria levels. This
should be considered a potential risk to the bathing public, and swimming is not recommended.
Samples taken were above the threshold for enterococci bacteria. These beaches have been
resampled and results are pending.
When resampling indicates that the water is within the satisfactory range, the advisory will be
An advisory is issued when the beach action value is 70.5 or higher. This is set by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The water samples are being 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 stormwater 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.
Storm surge can bring contaminants from the land into Gulf waters, temporarily increasing
bacteria counts. These numbers can fluctuate as tides and currents move water, making
ongoing monitoring important.
If you have open cuts or sores, keep them clean by washing them with soap and water. Apply
antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or
drainage, see a physician.
The latest testing on marine (saltwater) beaches will be updated on DOH’s website
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.