Health advisories were issued Thursday for the water at two Okaloosa County parks.
Garnier's Park in Fort Walton Beach and Rocky Bayou State Park near Niceville were found to have enteric bacteria in their water Thursday morning, which normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The bacteria can cause human disease, infections or rashes, according to a press release from the Florida Department of Health.
The health advisory for Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville was lifted at approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, another press release said. The water at Garnier's Park was still under an advisory by print time.
The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife and human sewage.
The health advisories are based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci, the press release said. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.
If you have questions, contact the DOH-Okaloosa 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.