State health department again issues swimming advisory for Fairh - FOX10 News | WALA

State health department again issues swimming advisory for Fairhope beach

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Fairhope Beach (file, FOX10 News) Fairhope Beach (file, FOX10 News)
FAIRHOPE, AL (WALA) -

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Friday issued swimming advisory for the waters of Mobile Bay at Volanta Avenue and at the public beach in Fairhope.

This comes within days of the health department lifting an earlier advisory for the same waters.

The Alabama Department of Public Health advises the public that two recent successive tests of swimming water quality at  these locations were poor. Swimming in this area may lead to an increased risk of illness. Monitoring will continue and the advisory will be lifted once bacteria values fall below the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold of 104 enterococcus organisms per 100 milliliters for marine water. 

The ADPH and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) operate the bacteriological water quality monitoring and notification program under a grant from the EPA’s BEACH Act Program. This program involves the routine collection of water samples from twenty-five (25) high-use coastal recreational sites. 

These samples are analyzed for enterococci bacteria. High counts indicate that the possibility that other disease causing germs could be present in the water. Based on EPA’s “Criteria for Bathing (full body contact) Recreational Waters”, samples are checked for enterococcus bacteria. These indicator bacteria are inhabitants of the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Bacterial concentrations in recreational waters can increase during and immediately following rainstorms due to overflowing sewage collection and treatment facilities, storm water run-off, malfunctioning septic systems and agricultural run-off. No known sewage spills have occurred.

When monitoring results exceed the EPA standard, the affected site is immediately retested. If the results of the second test identify enterococci levels persisting above the EPA standard, a public advisory is issued by the health department through the cooperative efforts of the news media. This advisory states there may be an increased of illness associated with swimming at the affected site.

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