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Beach closed to swimmers | Environment

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Beach closed to swimmers
Beach closed to swimmers

Crystal River, Florida -- The Citrus County Parks and Recreation Division closed Ft. Island Gulf Beach Park to swimming Friday, Jan. 21, after the Citrus County Environmental Health Department issued an advisory for the beach, warning of high bacterial counts in water samples.

The samples showed bacteria counts were over the state standards. This indicates that water contact may pose an increased risk of infectious disease, particularly for susceptible individuals. The beach is sampled weekly, and it will be retested on Wednesday, Jan. 26, with results normally available by Friday.

The beach had been reopened for swimming last week after being closed a number of weeks. It is not uncommon for high bacterial levels to occur due to runoff after significant rainfall. Friday's prohibition on swimming at the beach will continue until samplings show reduced bacterial levels, at which time health department officials will decide whether to continue or lift the advisory.

For more information, call the Citrus County Health Department at 352 527 5283 or visit the Department of Health's Internet Beach Water Quality website www.doh.state.fl.us, (Click on the drop down arrow next to "Choose Subject" and then select "Beach Water Quality.")