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High levels of bacteria lead to swimming ban on beach


High bacterial counts found at the Fort Island Gulf Beach Park will keep swimmers out of the water until at least next Wednesday when the beach can be retested. The weekly Health Department tests showed bacteria counts over the state standards. Citrus County spokesman Jim Hunter says the results indicated water contact may pose an increased risk of infectious disease because of the pollution in rainwater.

“The old adage from years ago, of never go swimming after the rain, has a basis in fact because of all the bacteria from roads, parking lots, you name it, pastures whatever get swept down eventually in the waterways,” he says.

The beach had been open to swimming for a month up until yesterday’s tests had been done, after having been closed to swimming for a number of consecutive weeks prior to that.

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