Oldsmar Healthy Beach Program
Oldsmar beaches provide plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors to explore its shorelines. Whether by kayak or stand-up board, boat, or simply wading along the shore, everyone looks forward to spending time in or on the waters of upper Tampa Bay and Mobbly Bayou Beach Park. As a coastal community, the City of Oldsmar embraces its eco-tourism and encourages those who partake in waterfront activities to be proactive with their surroundings. It is important to note that there are naturally occurring bacteria in the waters.
As such, it is best to avoid swimming or wading if you have any open wounds or scrapes, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medications which can suppress your immune system. Another suggestion would be to wear beach shoes to prevent potential cuts or scrapes on shells or rocks while enjoying in the waters.
The Oldsmar Healthy Beach Program monitors Mobbly Beach by collecting bi-weekly water samples throughout the year and analyzes them for enterococci. These organisms are chosen since they inhabit the intestines of warm blooded animals (including dogs) and are excreted through the animal's waste. Enterococci do not necessarily cause illness but at high concentrations, it may indicate that there are other organisms present that could cause disease, infections, and rashes.
Based on EPA guidelines, when these organisms reach high levels, a health advisory is issued by the City. Public notifications include results entered on the Oldsmar Healthy Beach Website, signs posted at the beach, and informing the local government officials. Health advisories are not lifted until samples collected show acceptable water quality. The environmental division also works to investigate possible sources of the contaminant.
Water samples will be taken bi-weekly starting in July 2022 and tested for enterococci. Test results will be published on the website immediately upon return from the lab. Results are coded based on EPA designation and are as follows:
- Good = 0-35 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water
- Moderate = 36-70 Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water
- Poor = 71 or greater Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water
If a sample tests "poor", notifications will be posted at the beach.
Additional information can be found on The Department of Health in Pinellas County Healthy Beach Program website.