A “no-swim” advisory has been issued at Jupiter’s Carlin Park Beach, over fears of high fecal bacteria levels. The advisory is in place until Mon., Sept. 26.
The health department conducts weekly samples of the beach’s waters at 13 locations from Boca Raton to Jupiter, testing specifically for Enterococcus. Infections of Enterococcus can lead to urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and even meningitis — a potentially deadly infection in the brain. Last month, 16-year old Courtney Nash suffered a fatal parasitic infection — amoebic meningoencephalitis — after swimming in the St. Johns River. Though still incredibly rare, such infections do seem to be occurring more often than usual, especially since bacteria thrive in water during warmer months.
Water pollution in Florida waterways has been a hot topic as of late. A set of standards to govern estuaries, lakes, and streams in the state have been especially controversial, with industry opposing more stringent pollution standards. Environmentalists maintain that stricter standards are needed to meet provisions of the Clean Water Act and to protect the health of citizens across the state.