Fairhope Swim notice issued for Mobile Bay at Orange Street Pier
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) – The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a public swimming advisory Friday for the waters of Mobile Bay at Orange Street Pier in Fairhope.
The Department of Health is advising the public that two recent back-to-back bathing water quality tests were poor. Swimming in these areas can lead to an increased risk of illness.
Officials say monitoring will continue and advisories will be lifted once bacterial values fall below the threshold of 104 enterococci organisms per 100 milliliters of seawater set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
ADPH and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management administer the bacteriological water quality monitoring and reporting program through a grant from the EPA’s BEACH Act program. This program includes the regular collection of water samples from 25 heavily used coastal recreational sites.
These samples are analyzed for enterococci bacteria. High counts indicate the possibility that other pathogenic germs are present in the water. Based on the EPA’s “Criteria for Recreational Bathing Waters (Full Body Contact)”, samples are checked for enterococci bacteria. These indicator bacteria are inhabitants of the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals.
Bacterial levels in recreational waters can increase during and immediately after thunderstorms due to overflow from sewage collection and treatment facilities, stormwater runoff, malfunctioning septic systems, and agricultural runoff. No known sewage spills have occurred. When monitoring results exceed the EPA standard, the affected site is immediately retested. If the results of the second test identify persistent enterococci levels above the EPA standard, a public advisory is issued by the health department through cooperative media efforts.
This advisory indicates that there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming at the affected site. For more information on consultative status, visit the ADEM website at www.adem.state.al.us. Click on surveillance at the top then click on Alabama Coastal Beach Watch.
Copyright 2022 WALA. All rights reserved.