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DOH issues water advisory for North Fork of the St. Lucie River

NewsDOH issues water advisory for North Fork of the St. Lucie River

The Riverwalk Boardwalk in Port St. Lucie, along the St. Lucie River's North Fork, can be seen in this aerial photo from 2021.

People should avoid contact with the North Fork of the Lucie River at Veterans Park, the Florida health department office in St. Lucie County warned Friday.

High levels of enteric bacteria were present.

A “poor” bacteria-level ranking is 71 or more enterococcus per 100 milliliters of water. The level was 271 in water samples taken Dec. 14 and 1,091 in water samples take Dec. 12.

The bacteria advisory will remain in effect until results show consistent readings in the good range. The area will be retested Dec. 27 and results will be available Dec. 29.

Enteric bacteria, a sign of fecal pollution, inhabit the intestinal tract of people and animals. The bacteria’s presence in the water typically comes from pets, wildlife, livestock, human sewage and stormwater runoff, especially after heavy rains.

It can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rashes if touched or ingested, according to DOH.

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