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Swimming discouraged at Ben T. Davis Beach

This weekend, visitors to Ben T. Davis Beach will be allowed to sunbathe, play volleyball and build sand castles to their heart's content.

But swimming is not recommended.

City officials posted signs and caution tape along the water's edge Thursday to warn visitors about high bacteria counts.

Barry Thomas, a district supervisor of aquatics and wellness for Tampa Parks and Recreation, said lifeguards will tell visitors that contact with the water can lead to bacterial infections, but won't stop people who want to take the risk.

"We can't tackle people and say "you cannot get in the water,' " Thomas said.

The water along the beach is tested Mondays and Wednesdays, and the parks department gets the results Tuesdays and Thursdays. The beach could reopen as early as Tuesday, when the next round of test results is available.

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