ADEM gives the green light to the resumption of recreational activities in Perdido Bay areas
Alabama Department of Environmental Management press release
Beach warning was issued Friday after Florida sewage spill
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. – Alabama Department of Environmental Management gives green light to resume regular recreational activities at Alabama beaches on Perdido Bay after intensified water quality sampling this week showed bacteria below worrying levels following a sewage spill last week from a sewage treatment plant in Florida.
On Tuesday, ADEM and the Baldwin County Department of Health changed the water quality monitoring signs on beaches from yellow to green. ADEM had the signs changed to yellow, indicating increased health risks, on Friday after being told by Florida that a ruptured pipe at an Emerald Coast Utilities Authority wastewater treatment plant in County D ‘Escambia, Florida was sending untreated sewage into Perdido Bay. Florida officials said the rupture released nearly 6 million gallons of sewage over a 20-hour period before the rupture was repaired on Friday night.
Due to the spill and based on communications with ADEM, the Baldwin County Health Department changed its water quality sampling from Wednesday to Monday. The areas sampled were:
• Avenue Kee
• Escambia avenue
• Pirate’s Cove
• Camp Dixie
• Spanish Cove
• Orange Beach seafront park
The water samples showed that the number of enterococci bacteria was below exploitable levels. ADEM and the Department of Health will continue to monitor water quality in areas potentially affected by the spill. Waters in recreational areas of the Gulf Coast of Alabama are routinely sampled for enterococci bacteria as part of the Coastal Beach Monitoring Program in which ADEM is collaborating with the Alabama Department of Public Health. The beach monitoring program began in 1999 and has since expanded to cover 25 busy recreational areas on the coast.
After the spill reported on Friday, ADEM notified the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Baldwin County Department of Health and the City of Orange Beach. No public drinking water source in Baldwin County was affected. In Florida, the state Department of Health said on Tuesday it was continuing its health advisories for two areas after sampling showed bacteria levels exceeded state guidelines.