Florida beachgoers would be warned of potential poop water under new bill

Any warning about poop is better than no warning about poop.

Photo via City of Tampa/Flickr
Ben T. Davis Beach
Tampa Bay beaches have had their fair share of poop water over the years, but a new proposal in the Florida Legislature would require a little more warning.

Filed last week by Palm Beach Democrat  Sen. Lori Berman, the "Safe Waterways Act"  would require the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to notify a municipality or county if there's a health advisory against swimming due to elevated bacteria levels in a public bathing place.

While the DOH currently monitors some beaches and public swimming areas, it is not required for any state or local jurisdiction to warn people before taking a dip.

One of the types of bacteria specifically mentioned in the proposal is enterococci, which is usually found in human and animal feces, and is often present in high volumes due to stormwater runoff, or human sewage spills.

Given how much waste water finds its way into Tampa Bay every year, any warning about poop is better than no warning about poop.