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Test results for Yacht Club Beach expected today

By Staff | Sep 28, 2011

The Lee County Health Department should know by 3 p.m. today whether or not the Yacht Club Beach is healthy enough to swim in.

Test samples taken Wed-nesday should be back by this afternoon, according to Lee County Health Department Spokes-woman Diane Holm.

Until those results are available, she said to stay out of the water.

“The Yacht Club Beach is unhealthy to swim in,” Holm added.

Regular testing showed high levels of human or animal bacteria in the Caloosahatchee River at the Yacht Club earlier this week, prompting the Health Department to issue an adivisory.

While the department did not close the beach, the water is unsafe for swimmers, according to Holm. The presence of an elevated concentration of this bacterium is an indicator of pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets, wildlife or sewage.

Holm added that recent rainfall totals could be to blame for the high level of enterococcus bacteria, which is normally found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals.

This advisory will continue until bacteria levels are below the accepted EPA level. New test results for Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach are expected to be in by 3:30 p.m. today. A new round of water samples on all Lee County beaches will be taken Monday, Oct. 3, with results showing 24 hours later.

Cape Coral resident Ed Nass decided to brave the water on Wednesday. Nass regularly visits the Yacht Club beach and still goes in the water during advisory periods.

“I could see if a sewage plant failed and was dumping raw sewage into the river,” Nass said. “I guess (Health Depart-ment Officials) have to err on the side of their standards. If it was banned (I wouldn’t go in the water), but it’s just an advisory.”

Michael Pistella contributed to this report