STUART, Fla. - Martin County residents are being asked to avoid contact with the water near the sandbar in Stuart after tests revealed higher than normal levels of enteric bacteria. The bacteria may come from storm water runoff, pets, wildlife and human sewage, said Renay House, spokeswoman for the county's health department.
Water samples were taken from an area east of Bessey Creek to the Stuart sandbar and from the Roosevelt Bridge and Sandsprit Park in Stuart, as well as from Leighton Park in Palm City.
"The bacteria levels have been increasing. The health of our residents is our number one priority. Many people visit the sandbar. By taking weekly sampling in that area, we'll know if it's safe for residents to swim there. At this time, it is not safe for people or pets to be swimming at the sandbar." said Environmental Health Director, Bob Washam said in a release.
House said that potential health risks for those who ingest or come in contact with the water include upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rashes.
She said the advisory will remain in effect until results show consistent readings in the good range.
The areas will be tested again on Monday, August 5.