Some question whether Florida should accept new beach water quality standard

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - The advisory sign that's sometimes posted on beaches saying no swimming, is a warning sign nobody wants to see.

"If I had my kids up and they had the sign up they're not going swimming," Skip Commagere said.

High bacteria samples prompt the advisory that's seen at Phil Foster Park most frequently of the 14 beaches where the Palm Beach County Health Department does testing.

"It's definitely worrisome," Christopher Cantrell said.

The Environmental Protection Agency has advised states to adopt a  stricter water quality standard.

The Palm Beach County Health Department said if they adopt it,  you could see warning signs more often.

"I think any measures that will help prolong the quality of the dive site here and the facility for the citizens is a good thing," Cantrell said after coming in from a dive.

Commagere who runs the Force E scuba shop by the Blue Heron bridge doesn't agree.

"I don't think they should adopt them," he exclaimed. "I really don't."

He worries about what the new standard could not only cost the county but his business, too.

No water access means no diving.

"It hurts our sport," he said. "It hurts our industry."

Palm Beach County Health Department spokesman Tim O'Connor said it won't cost the county  more money.

"The test results still will go to the same laboratory," he said."The way we pull the samples will take the same amount of manpower."

Representatives from the state Department of Environmental Protection said they will take a few weeks until they decide whether to adopt the EPA  recommendations or not.
 

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