Contaminated Water at a Dixie County Beach
Shired Island in Dixie County is having a hard time keeping its water clean. Last year a national environmental group named it the dirtiest beach in the state, and it seems they still haven't cleaned up their act.
If you got sick after a day at the beach, would you blame the water? A recent EPA test shows that the water at Shired Island is contaminated with high levels of harmful bacteria. Officials say swimming in it, can make you very sick.
"It's scary - the the thought of what's in that water," says a local beach-goer.
62 year old Janie Myers and her niece are spending the day crabbing. Because of all the bacteria, they say they wouldn't even consider going in.
"I'll put my feet in, but that's it," says Myers.
Dixie County's Environmental Director says they've posted signs, warning swimmers that the water isn't safe.
"We, on a routine basis, have an excedience of the enterococcus, which is one of the perimeters used for the public health bathing standards," says the Dixie County Environmental Health Director.
But what are your standards? While some beach goers are extremely cautious after reading the posted warning sign, others say, a little bacteria can't hurt.
"It's our choice, so that's what we do. We go in anyway," says beach lover Virginia Galbreath.
Q: "Are you worried about your children swimming in that bacteria?"
A: "Like i said, it's no worse then any other place."
These folks may be brave enough to take the plunge, but health officials say the bacteria in the water, known as enterococcus, can make you seriously sick.
"Gastro intestinal infections, infections of the eyes, wounds can become easily infected," says Director Lesley Asbell.
Abell says the cause of the contaminated water could possibly be a result of bird droppings, but says that's only a theory. He says further testing is needed to know the real culprit.
He says they're planning on putting up more permanent water advisory signs to ensure safety.
By Thalia Hayden, WCJB TV20 News.
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