According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida will end weekly bacteria tests at some of state’s beaches. The state plans to stop weekly testing for bacteria at fifty five locations statewide because of budget cuts that have wiped out resources to continue with the Florida Healthy Beaches program.
The Florida Department of Health cut $525,000 from beach water testing funds this year, leaving only a small grant to pay for all statewide testing. Beaches with fewer problems or low traffic will get cut from all weekly testing, even though the current program tests water quality at about 304 beaches. Remaining sites will be tested every other week, but local health departments can opt to do additional testing.
The DOH spokesman said that Florida has overall good water qualify and that only 1 percent of water samples are considered poor. The Health Department does not believe that the overall quality of water at Florida’s beaches will change due to lack of testing. The changes should bother tourists and locals who frequent Florida’s waters, as the health department should test the water for the public’s safety.
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