As the week quickly comes to a close, you might be thinking about what to do this weekend. Your besties suggest donning your cute new swimsuits and hitting up the sandy shores of your favorite beach. But don't pack the towel just yet, Florida beach water advisories have been issued at these spots — and you're probably gonna want to avoid them.
Several shorelines across the Sunshine State have been issued advisories for increased risk of infectious disease if you come into contact with the water due to higher counts of a bacteria known as Enterococci, most commonly found in the feces of animals such as insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals, including humans.
Yes, that means it could've found its way into the waterways by, you guessed it, means of someone (or something) taking themselves a number 2 in the waves at your favorite shoreline — yikes! The increase in bacteria can also be caused by stormwater runoff, wildlife, and pets.
According to the Florida Department of Health, multiple beaches in De Funiak Springs, Bay, and Pasco Counties, along with one in the Tampa Bay area, have been contaminated by the bacteria with swim at your own risk advisories in effect until further notice.
7 Bay County beaches have a poor water quality rating right now, with concentrations of 70.5 or greater Enterococci particles per 100 millimeters. This includes the surf at Beach Drive, Bid-a-Wee Beach, Carl Gray Park, Delwood, Dupont Bridge, Laguna Beach, and the PCB City Pier.
As for Pasco, only three waterways have been affected, including Anclote River Park, Gulf Harbors, and Robert J Strickland Beach.
In De Funiak Springs' Walton County, Grady Brown Park, Eastern Lake Dune Walkover, Inlet Beach Access, Blue Mountain, Dune Allen, Grayton, Holly Street, and Miramar County Park Beaches have been affected.
The only spot with a poor water advisory in Tamba Bay's Hillsborough County at this time is the Davis Island Beach. Ben T. Davis North has been issued a moderate quality rating, though an advisory has not been set there.
You're going to want to regularly take a peek at the Florida Health Department's website if you want to avoid taking a dip with the booty particles of your fellow Earth-dwelling and sandy shore-loving friends and animals.