Walton County – Walton County Health Department has issued a swim advisory for Morrison Springs, based on the criteria for fecal indicator bacteria.
This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public and swimming is not recommended. Samples taken Feb 11 and Feb 12, 2013 were above the public health threshold for fecal indicator bacteria. Water quality exceedances are based upon the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standard of no more than 61 Enterococci CFU/100mL, or 235 E. coli CFU/100mL in any single sample.
The water will be re-sampled Feb. 18, 2013. When re-sampling indicates that the water is within the satisfactory range, the advisory will be lifted.
The Florida Department of Health in Walton County monitors monthly water samples submitted by public bathing places during their operation season. The water samples are being analyzed for enteric bacteria (fecal coliform enterococci or E. coli) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and warm-blooded blooded animals, and indicate the presence of pathogens which may cause swimming related diseases including gastrointestinal disease, ear and eye ailments, and skin rashes and infections. The presence of fecal indicator bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, domestic pets, wildlife, and human waste (sewage).
Sampling is also conducted by other county health departments at marine beaches and results can be found at Department of Health's Beach Water Quality website at www.floridashealth.com/beachwater.
For more information, contact the Florida Department of Health in Walton County (850) 892-8021.