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Advisories in effect for 6 beaches in Palm Beach County for poor water quality

Beaches in Palm Beach, Lake Worth Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton among those impacted
Beach in Palm Beach County
Posted at 11:29 AM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 18:24:58-04

Editor's Note: All of the water quality advisories for the six beaches in this story were lifted Sept. 1 following sampling performed Aug. 29.

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner, which typically means busy beaches in Palm Beach County.

But this year, you might want to think twice before heading into the water.

The water quality at six area beaches scored in the "poor" range, according to a news release by the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County on Tuesday.

Those beaches included the following:

  • Palm Beach Municipal in Palm Beach
  • Kreusler Park in Lake Worth Beach
  • Ocean Inlet Park in Ocean Ridge
  • Sandoway Park in Delray Beach
  • South Inlet Park in Boca Raton
  • Lantana Beach in Lantana

All of these beaches had high levels of enterococci bacteria, prompting the alert.

The spokesperson for FDOH said elderly people, small children, people with weak immune systems or open wounds are advised not to go into the water.

Alyza Marrero, beachgoer speaks about water advisories, Aug. 31, 2022
Alyza Marrero was among the beachgoers concerned by the current water advisories at multiple beaches in Palm Beach County.

Beachgoers told WPTV it's not worth risking their health to go into the water.

"I was already waist-deep in, and personally I don't think I'm going to go back now knowing that there's a health advisory," Palm Beach County resident Alyza Marrero said. "I don't want to risk anything or cause any problems."

Health officials said that the causes of the elevated bacteria levels are unknown but heavy rains, high surf and heavy traffic can contribute to the problem.

Generally, poor water quality ratings at beaches are associated with wildlife, heavy recreational usage, high surf from high winds and high tides or runoff following heavy rains.

The Director of Aquatics for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Jimmy Davis agrees that heavy rain and low tides play a factor, but what's abnormal is how many areas testing poorly at once.

 Jimmy Davis, director of Aquatics for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation
Jimmy Davis shares his thoughts on the recent advisories issued for six beaches in Palm Beach County.

"That's a little strange to have that many poor advisories," Davis said.

The Department of Health encourages beachgoers to rinse with fresh water after swimming in any natural body of water.

Health department staff regularly sample the beach waters at 13 locations from Boca Raton to Jupiter for enterococci.

The advisory will remain in effect through the holiday weekend.

The Department of Health is set to conduct their regular testing again next week.

Click here for the latest water quality reports for beaches in Palm Beach County and throughout the state.