Advisories have been issued for the Carl Gray Park location on Collegiate Drive in Panama City and the Beach Drive location on US-98 West Beach Drive in Panama City.
The Bay County Health Department, Bay CHD, conducts saltwater beach water quality monitoring in accordance with the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. New funding now allows weekly water sampling between March and October. The samples are checked for enteric bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of enteric bacteria can be an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. Poor results are posted as an “Advisory” at the affected beaches.
Healthy Beaches advisories are issued to protect swimmers from increased risk of gastrointestinal illnesses. At a lower occurring level, there may also be increased risks of upper respiratory infections, skin rashes, and ear infections. Healthy Beach advisories are not related to Necrotizing fasciitis, a rare complication.
Sampling is done on Mondays with results on Tuesday, with exception of holidays. Results are shared at Bay.FloridaHealth.gov, through media releases, and real-time on the Florida Healthy Beaches page at FloridaHealth.gov and search for “Healthy Beaches”.
Florida Healthy Beaches Program Categories are; Good = 0-35 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water, Moderate = 36-70 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water, and Poor = 71 or greater Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water. If levels are above 70, Bay CHD notifies the local Florida Department of Environmental Protection for further investigation.
If you have any questions, please contact the Bay County Health Department at 850-481-4806 or visit the Department of Health’s Internet Beach Water Quality website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/beach-water-quality/index.html.