Beach-water advisory issued for Lido Casino Beach

Sarasota County beaches, including those on Lido Key, also have been contending with seaweed piling up over the past couple of weeks. Photo by Norman Schimmel

A beach-water advisory has been issued for the Lido Casino beach, Sarasota County health officials have announced.

Health Department staff received testing results from beach-water samples taken on Wednesday, Aug. 1, that showed an elevated level of enterococci (enteric) bacteria, a county news release says.

Signage advising the public not to swim or engage in water recreation at the Lido Casino Beach will remain in place until followup water-testing results meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water safety standards, the news release adds.

The Health Department plans to conduct that water sampling on Friday, Aug. 3, with results expected in the afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 4.

“We never like to issue advisories and are sensitive to their impact on the community,” said Environmental Health Administrator Tom Higginbotham in the news release. “However, the intent of the Florida Healthy Beaches program is to provide residents and visitors with accurate, up-to-date information about the water quality at our 16 area beaches,” he added.

“Enteric bacteria can come from stormwater runoff, pet waste and wildlife and human sewage,” he continued. “When detected in high concentrations in recreational waters, these bacteria can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, infections or rashes if ingested while swimming or after entering the skin through a cut or sore.”

Residents and visitors still may use the Lido Casino Beach, but they are urged not to wade or swim in the water or engage in water recreation until the advisory is lifted, the county news release points out. Health officials say that shellfish collected in the immediate area of Lido Casino Beach or any beach water that has a brown tint should not be consumed; however, it is safe to fish and consume finfish from these waters.

County officials speculated that beach closures a couple of weeks ago on Lido and Turtle beaches as well as the North Jetty Beach in Venice may have been related to runoff from recent rainfall. The news release issued Aug. 2 gave no indication of the cause of the latest  advisory.

Residents and visitors may visit and click on “water monitoring,” then “bacterial testing” to check beach-water testing results of area Gulf beaches, or call the Sarasota County Health Department’s Environmental Health office at 861-6133.