NICEVILLE, Fla— Poor water quality has led to health advisories at Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville and Lincoln Park in Valparaiso, as well as, four other Okaloosa County beach parks with high levels of bacteria. The advisories are issued by the Florida Department of Health.
Water quality tested “poor” at Garniers Park, Lincoln Park, Liza Jackson Park, Marler Park, Poquito Park, and Rocky Bayou State Park.
Water quality tested “good” at Brackin Wayside Park, Emerald Prominade, Henderson Park Beach, and James Lee Park.
The health advisories are based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci bacteria.
Enterococci are enteric bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of enteric bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. If they are present in high concentrations in recreational waters and are ingested while swimming or enter the skin through a cut or sore, they may cause human disease, infections, or rashes.
Okaloosa County sites are tested bi-weekly through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. It tests 10 sites in the county.
Samples are collected from March through the end of October.
The most recent sampling took place on June 6, 2020