FORT WALTON BEACH — The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County has issued a health advisory for the water at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island, Henderson Beach State Park in Destin and Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville.
The advisory is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended water quality standards and should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.
The DOH conducts bi-weekly saltwater water quality monitoring at 11 sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through October.
The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals and 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.
For more information, call the DOH at 833-9247 or 689-7859.
A list of Okaloosa County’s Healthy Beaches sites, sampling results and maps is found on the “Healthy Beaches” link at www.HealthyOkaloosa.com.