Swimming is once again discouraged at Tampa’s Ben T. Davis Beach due to poop

The beach will be re-sampled next Wednesday.

Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa, Florida. - CITYOFTAMPA/FLICKR
CITYOFTAMPA/FLICKR
Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa, Florida.


For the second time in nearly a month, health officials are once again advising residents not to swim at Ben T. Davis Beach due to high levels of enterococci bacteria, which comes from poop.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Hillsborough County Health Department released a health advisory saying “swimming is not recommended” at the beach due to recent water samples that were above the suitable threshold for enterococci bacteria.

“The water samples are being analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes,” says the HHD. “The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.”

The beach will be re-sampled next Wednesday, and if the samples are satisfactory the advisory will be lifted, says the agency.

Tampa beaches have a history of dirty water. Just last month, an advisory was issued after samples showed high levels of enterococci bacteria, and a few weeks earlier a similar warning was issued Davis Islands Dog Park Beach.

“We have only seen intermittent problems the past few years,” Kevin Watler, a Public Information Officer with Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, recently told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. “Some beaches may be more susceptible to bacterial contamination because of drainage and water flow issues. Rainfall almost always causes issues with more beaches having higher contamination levels.”

For the time being, you might want to stay out of the water.

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