Swim advisory lifted for Mobile Bay at Orange Street Pier in Fairhope

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 12:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 4:21 PM CDT
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UPDATE: The Alabama Department of Public Health on Thursday lifted the swimming advisory issued on July 1 for Mobile Bay at Orange Street Pier in Fairhope. Based on water samples collected from this location on Wednesday, swimming water quality is again good, with enterococci levels below the EPA threshold of 104 colonies per 100 milliliters, ADPH said.

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EARLIER STORY:

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health on Friday issued a public swimming advisory for the waters of Mobile Bay at Orange Street Pier in Fairhope.

The health department advises the public that two recent successive tests of swimming water quality were poor. Swimming in these area may lead to an increased risk of illness.

Officials say monitoring will continue and the advisories 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 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 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 risk of illness associated with swimming at the affected site. For more information about the advisory status, visit ADEM’s Web Site at www.adem.state.al.us. Click on monitoring at the top and then click on Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring.

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