Bay County Health Department Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program Results
March 31, 2020
Panama City, Fla. – The Bay County Health Department, Bay CHD, conducts saltwater beach water quality monitoring in accordance with the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. New funding now allows weekly water samplingbetween March and October. The samples are checked for enteric bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of enteric bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. Poor results are posted as an “Advisory” at the affected beaches.
There are no advisories in effect for any of the current Bay County Healthy Beaches sampling locations.
Due to beach closures in Panama City Beach and unincorporated Bay County the Bay CHD will only be sampling the four locations along St. Andrews Bay; Delwood Beach, Carl Gray Park, Beach Drive, and Dupont Bridge while the beach closures are in effect.
Healthy Beaches advisories are issued to protect swimmers from increased risk of gastrointestinal illnesses. At a lower occurring level, there may also be increased risks of upper respiratory infections, skin rashes, and ear infections. Healthy Beach advisories are not related to Necrotizing fasciitis, a rare complication.
Sampling is done on Mondays with results on Tuesday, with exception of holidays. Results are shared at Bay.FloridaHealth.gov, through media releases, and real-time on the Florida Healthy Beaches page at FloridaHealth.gov and search for “Healthy Beaches”.
Florida Healthy Beaches Program Categories are; Good = 0-35 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water, Moderate = 36-70 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water, and Poor = 71 or greater Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water. If levels are above 70, Bay CHD notifies the local Florida Department of Environmental Protection for further investigation.
If you have any questions, please contact the Bay County Health Department at 850-481-4806 or visit the Department of Health’s Internet Beach Water Quality website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/beach-water-quality/index.html.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.