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Veterans Park swimming advisory lifted after bacteria levels fall

NewsVeterans Park swimming advisory lifted after bacteria levels fall

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

PORT ST. LUCIE — The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County on Friday lifted the swimming advisory for Veterans Memorial Park on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River spanfter sspanmpling showed bspancterispan levels hspand returned to spancceptspanble levels.

The advisory was first imposed Dec. 16, when high levels of enteric bacteria were found in the water. 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.

The bacteria can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rashes if touched or ingested, according to Health Department officials.

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

In samples taken Tuesday, the enterococcus level had fallen to 42 per 100 millileters, which puts the water in the “moderate” bacteria-level category.

The water in the area will continue to be tested every other week, the Department of Health said Friday.

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