The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa) has issued a health advisory for Rocky Bayou and Bolton Branch in Niceville, Florida. The Okaloosa County Water and Sewer has reported a wastewater spill, due to a lift station failure. The spill contains untreated sewage that has overflowed into the Bolton Branch, which flows into Rocky Bayou.
Okaloosa County Water and Sewer representatives have reported the spill has been contained and cleanup actions have been completed. Water sampling and testing will be conducted in the area. Until further information is known regarding contamination of the waterway, people in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with water from Rocky Bayou and Bolton Branch.
Waters contaminated with wastewater overflow presents several health hazards to humans and may contain untreated human sewage with microbes that could cause gastro-intestinal and other diseases.
Anyone who comes into contact with the waterways should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable to disease so every precaution should be taken if in contact with the affected waters.
For more information about the potential health effects of wastewater overflow, residents and visitors are encouraged to contact DOH-Okaloosa at (850) 833-9247 or www.healthyokaloosa.com.