Local health officials on Saturday lifted the no-swim advisory for Clearwater Beach, Mandalay Park and Sand Key as resampling confirmed that bacteria have returned to satisfactory levels.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County advised the public on Friday afternoon not to swim in the waters due to enterococci bacteria, or fecal pollution, detected at levels that exceeded federal standards. The bacteria was likely a result of storm surge from Hurricane Idalia that brought contaminants from the land into Gulf of Mexico waters, according to a news release.
The Department of Health confirmed in a statement on Saturday that residents and visitors “may return to swimming and other water sports at these beach sites.”
Pinellas health officials regularly test water quality at 50 sites along the coast. The testing provides real-time water quality information for the beaches, which the public can track at floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/index.html.