Dr. Webster’s BLOG

Weekly Beach Report

Is the beach safe this week?

UPDATED August 4, 2022

We’re now in the heart of the rainy season here on Florida’s west central coast, and the weather can quickly turn the water quality from Good to Poor within a matter of days. With that being said, it is important to remember that the water quality samples are only done weekly in Hillsborough County (it’s been varying from week to week as to which day it is tested lately). Pinellas County beaches are only being tested every two weeks, which means there could be a. wide swing in quality between testing dates. Historically, Pinellas County beaches tend to be affected less by rainfall than Hillsborough County. So, it’s important to realize that the data provided here is only a guide based on most recent reports made available by the Florida Department of Health.

Heavy rains have the potential to create massive amounts of runoff, which can put contaminants into our local waters, including fecal coliform and enterococcus bacteria.

Water samples are taken by the Florida Department of Public Health from dozens of beaches around the state to test for fecal coliform and enterococcus bacteria. These samples are taken weekly in Hillsborough County- and bi-weekly in Pinellas County. It takes a day before test results are back- and we will report on these as soon as we can review and post them here. The quality of the water is affected by numerous factors- including heavy rains which can flush contaminants from the land into our waterways into the gulf. As a reminder- these results have nothing to do with red tide. For more information on red tide in our area, please see the FWC’s website here.

As a reminder, Pinellas County is only offering bi-weekly water quality testing, as the county has chosen not to fund weekly testing.

There are lots of public beaches in our area- but we will only be posting on the following beaches since they allow our furry friends to play. They are:

  • Davis Island
  • Picnic Island
  • Fort Desoto
  • Apollo Beach Nature Preserve (not tested, but is nearby Bahia Beach- which is tested)
  • Honeymoon Island

*Apollo Beach Nature Preserve is not a site that is tested, however there is a test site within a few miles of this dog beach- Bahia Beach. We will report the findings for this site.  Use this data at your own risk.

You may be asking about Gandy Beach. Unfortunately, the Florida Department of Health does not currently do testing at this site. If this changes, we will include it.

Hillsborough County Water Quality Results Test Date 8/1/22

Davis Island: Good water conditions on test date.

Picnic Island: Good

Apollo Beach Nature PreserveWater conditions are good after an advisory on 7/27/22

As a reminder, Apollo Beach Nature Preserve has a dog-friendly beach. This site is not tested, but is only about one mile from Bahia Beach which is tested weekly. Use these test results at your own risk.

Pinellas County Water Quality Results- 8/1/22

Fort Desoto: Good Results 

Honeymoon Island: Good Results

For all local beach reports (includes non-dog beaches)- follow these links:

Hillsborough County Beaches

Pinellas County Beaches


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