Walton County, FL - The Walton County Health Department conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. The water samples are being analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant coastal beach water quality problems and whether future beach monitoring efforts are necessary.
Site Name Enterococci Water Quality
SP-1 Miramar Beach 56 Moderate
SP-3 Dune Allen Beach 60 Moderate
SP-4 Blue Mountain Beach 348 Poor
SP-5 Grayton Beach 64 Moderate
SP-7 Holly Street Beach 156 Poor
SP-8 Eastern Lake Beach 36 Moderate
SP-9 Inlet Beach Access 4 Good
Water quality classifications are based upon United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended criteria and Florida Healthy Beaches Program Categories:
Good = 0 - 35 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine
Moderate = 36 - 104 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine water
Poor = greater than 105 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine water
Health Advisories have been issued for the Blue Mountain Beach Access and the Holly Street Beach Access based on the enterococci standard recommended by the EPA. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.
If you should have any questions, please contact the Walton County Health Department of (850) 892-8021, or visit the Department of Health’s internet Beach Water Quality website (www.doh.state.fl.us, click on “Floridians and Visitors” – under “Food, Water, Air, Land,” choose “Beach Water Quality.”