Authorities issue health warning for Glynn County beach

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – The Glynn County Health Department has issued an advisory for East Beach at the old Coast Guard station (10th Street East to Driftwood Drive) on St. Simons Island. 

The advisory was only for the areas specified above and did not impact any other beaches on the island, officials said.

There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness; however, this beach water advisory was to alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact. An area under advisory does not mean the beach is closed.

Water samples are tested only for enterococcus bacteria, which is found in warm-blooded animals, including humans, but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

The Glynn County Health Department recommended not swimming or wading in the water in the areas under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from this area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.  

The area was retested and the advisory was lifted after tests showed the bacteria levels met the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards. For more information about beach water testing, go to www.gachd.org  and click on the Environmental Health tab at the top of the page.