FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – A health advisory has been issued for Lincoln Park in Valparaiso and Liza Jackson Park in Fort Walton Beach by the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa), DOH-Okaloosa said in a statement issued this morning.
The health advisory is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci, DOH-Okaloosa said.
According to DOH-Okaloosa, this should be considered a potential health risk for people who enter or swim in the water.
The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County conducts bi-weekly saltwater beach water quality monitoring at 11 sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. The most recent sampling was on June 26.
Samples are collected from March through the end of October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals and which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes.
The presence of enteric bacteria indicates fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
If you have questions, contact the DOH-Okaloosa at (850) 833-9247 or (850) 689-7859. You can also visit www.HealthyOkaloosa.com and click the “Healthy Beaches” link to be taken to a list of Okaloosa County’s Healthy Beaches sites, sampling results, and maps.