The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) posts beach warning signs at public beaches and participates in the Florida Department of Health's Healthy Beaches Program. The program involves the monitoring of salt or brackish water beaches and issues health advisories if beach waters fail to meet required standards.
The goal of the program is to prevent waterborne illness by advising Florida residents and visitors against recreating in waters potentially contaminated with human pathogens.
Thirteen beaches throughout Lee County are sampled and monitored weekly for enterococci bacteria. High concentrations of these bacteria may indicate the presence of microorganisms that could cause disease, infections, or rashes. If high concentrations of pathogenic organisms are ingested while in recreational waters or enter through an open cut or sore, they may cause human disease or infections. The most common symptoms include rashes, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
DOH-Lee will issue health warnings when these conditions are confirmed.
DOH-Lee has installed 30” x 17” reflective metal signs on monitored beaches. They read “This Beach Monitored as Part of the Healthy Beaches Program”. Under normal conditions No Water Quality Advisory at this Time will be displayed. Should a warning be issued based upon the results of the sampling, the reflective metal sign will be changed to indicate a recommendation not to swim, and large yellow signs will be posted that reads ADVISORY Health Department Recommends Not Swimming. This statement coupled with the large universal no swimming icon should warn individuals to refrain from recreating in the water until the advisory is lifted.