Swimming advisory issued for May Day Park


DAPHNE -- The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a swimming advisory for May Day Park in Daphne after two consecutive tests found high levels of enterococcus bacteria.

Swimming in this area may lead to an increased risk of illness, according to the notice. Monitoring will continue and the advisory will be lifted once bacteria values fall below the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold of 104 enterococcus organisms per 100 milliliters for marine water.

A test on June 9 found a count of 547. Later tests found 133 on June 10 and 112 on June 11.

The ADPH and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management operate the bacteriological water quality monitoring and notification program under a grant from the EPA’s BEACH Act Program. This program involves the routine collection of water samples from 25 high-use coastal recreational sites.

The samples are analyzed for enterococci bacteria. High counts indicate that the possibility that other disease-causing germs could be present in the water. Based on EPA’s “Criteria for Bathing (full body contact) Recreational Waters”, samples are checked for enterococcus bacteria. These indicator bacteria are inhabitants of the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Bacterial concentrations in recreational waters can increase during and immediately following rainstorms due to overflowing sewage collection and treatment facilities, storm water run-off, malfunctioning septic systems and agricultural run-off. No known sewage spills have occurred, according to ADPH reports.

When monitoring results exceed the EPA standard, the affected site is immediately retested. If the results of the second test identify enterococci levels persisting above the EPA standard, a public advisory is issued by the health department through the cooperative efforts of the news media. This advisory states there may be an increased of illness associated with swimming at the affected site.

Anyone wanting more information about the advisory status can go to ADEM’s website at www.adem.state.al.us. Click on “monitoring” at the top and then click on Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring.