Due to heavy rainfall in the past several days that may have contaminated recreational water ways, the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County is advising residents to avoid water related activities, including swimming, fishing, and boating, for the next several days. 


Advisory signs will be posted in the areas where the health department conducts Healthy Beaches water sampling; Navarre Park at Highway 98, Navarre Beach West, Navarre Beach Pier, Juana’s Beach, and Shoreline Park.  Signs will remain in place until water samples indicate that bacteria levels have returned to normal.


The public is advised to avoid inland recreational water ways, as well, as these may be contaminated by runoff from flooded septic systems.  Residents with private wells are also advised to take precautions, including:


•           Boiling all water used for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, making ice, bathing, and brushing teeth.  A rolling boil of at least one minute is sufficient to kill harmful bacteria.


•           Water may also be disinfected by adding 8 drops of plain, unscented bleach to each gallon of water and allowing it to stand for 30 minutes.  If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the process.  Store disinfected water in covered containers to prevent contamination.


•           Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.


Once flooding has subsided, wells may be disinfected by following procedures recommended by the Department of Health found at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/private-well-testing/. Have well water tested by a laboratory certified by the state to conduct testing for coliform bacteria.


The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County will continue to monitor water quality in our area and will advise residents when testing indicates that it is safe to resume water related activities.