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Fecal pollution closes Picnic Island, Cypress Point beaches

TAMPA — The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County has issued a public health advisories for Picnic Island and Cypress Point beaches due to high bacteria levels.

The two beaches are considered a potential risk after showing high levels of fecal pollution and swimming is not recommended.

Samples taken Wednesday were above threshold for enterococci bacteria found in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage. It can cause disease, infections or rashes.

The beach will be re-sampled on March 23. When re-sampling indicates the water is within the satisfactory range, the advisory will be lifted.