Dr. Webster’s BLOG

Weekly Beach Report

Is the beach safe this week?

UPDATED April 29, 2021

The forecast is starting to look like summer- so as it heats up, a trip to the beach sounds great! Just remember to keep your pet hydrated, and take plenty of water with you for both you and your pet to drink. Drinking excessive amounts of saltwater is bad (and can be fatal) to your pet- so be sure to know the warning signs. We’ve written a blog on that, too.

You may be concerned with the short and long-term effects of the discharge from the Piney Point area near Bradenton- and we all should be. What we need to realize is the release of the water from Piney Point will not increase bacteria levels and fecal coliform. The water that is being discharged is high in nutrients, like nitrogen. Such nutrients allow for the rapid growth of algae blooms, including those that cause red tide. Both issues- red tide and high bacteria levels are not good for you or your pets. We will keep a close eye on this situation and continue to post updates as needed.


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.

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: 4/28/21 

Davis IslandGood Results

Picnic Island:Good Results

Apollo Beach Nature Preserve:   Water quality at nearby Bahia Beach Good Results.

Pinellas County Water Quality Results: Test Date 4/19/21 RESULTS UPDATED Bi-WEEKLY

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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