Two Okaloosa County parks test postive for fecal matter

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (PRESS RELEASE) - Two Okaloosa County parks have tested postivie for unhealthy levels of fecal matter.

According to the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa), bi-weekly saltwater beach water quality monitoring at 11 sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program detected the concern.

Samples are collected from March through the end of 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.

A health advisory was issued for Liza Jackson Park of Fort Walton Beach, and Rocky Bayou State Park of Niceville. The health advisory is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.

If you have questions, contact the DOH-Okaloosa County at (850) 833-9247 or (850) 689-7859. You can also visit www.HealthyOkaloosa.com and click the “Healthy Beaches” link to be taken to a list of Okaloosa County’s Healthy Beaches sites, sampling results and maps.