TAMPA — A health advisory has been issued for the Ben T. Davis and Picnic Island beaches after potentially dangerous levels of bacteria were found in saltwater there.
Tests revealed risky levels of enterococci bacteria, so visitors should stay out of the water until sampling shows it is safe, the Hillsborough County Health Department said.
That type of bacteria is normally found in human and animal intestines, the department states. High levels of it in beach water may indicate pollution from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife or human sewage. It can cause disease, infections or rashes.
Runoff after heavy rainfall often is the primary source, said health department spokesman Steve Huard.
The county plans to test the water again on Monday, and if the results are satisfactory, the advisory will be lifted.