Beach Water Quality

The Village continues to be committed to mitigating potential health risks associated with high bacteria levels on beaches. The recent swimming advisories issued by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) for several beach areas within Key Biscayne have concerned Village residents and visitors. These swimming advisories were issued for Crandon Park North, Crandon Park South and Key Biscayne Beach. After routine weekly beach water sampling, results showed the presence of enterococci bacteria above acceptable levels for recreational beaches in early September 2018. The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) currently conducts weekly beach water sampling at the following four (4) locations:

  • Crandon Park North
  • Crandon Park South
  • Key Biscayne Beach Club
  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

The Key Biscayne Community Foundation has added another resource for Village residents and visitors using our beaches. Supplemental beach water samples will be collected weekly for testing. An independent laboratory collected samples at Crandon Park North, Key Biscayne Beach Park and within a Village bayside location on Thursday, September 13, 2018 for beach water quality testing. Testing to see if enterococci are present is underway. The independent laboratory also is conducting microbial source tracking on the three samples. This test takes analysis a step further by identifying detectable levels of specific DNA fragments that indicate the presence of the particular bacterial/viral/parasitic strain associated with the DNA of specific sources.

For more information regarding the methodology and frequency of FDOH’s routine weekly beach water sampling, testing locations and how to obtain their beach water sampling results, see below.

Miami WaterKeeper Bacteria Monitoring Program

The Village is working in collaboration with Miami Waterkeeper (MWK) to conduct weekly water sample collection and analysis on Key Biscayne to monitor bacteria related water quality. This monitoring is complementary to the bacteria monitoring undertaken by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) at other locations in Crandon Park (north and south), Cape Florida Park and one location at the Key Biscayne Beach Club.  The MWK sampling program includes both ocean-facing and bay-facing sites. Sample collection resumed on August 17, 2020. The sampling program was initiated in 2018 and ran until 2019.  Currently, Miami Waterkeeper is sampling at four locations:

  • Key Biscayne Yacht Club
  • Mariner Drive
  • Key Biscayne Beach Club
  • Public Beach Access near Silver Sands Beach Resort

MiamiWaterKeepers

Sampling occurs every Monday and results are posted on Tuesdays via the Swim Guide application: https://www.theswimguide.org/affiliates-confirmation/miami-waterkeeper/. Miami Waterkeeper resamples and reanalyzes the water at any site that exceeds the bacteria threshold of 70 MPN per 100mL until the bacteria (enterococci) level at that site is no longer in exceedance.

Miami Waterkeeper reports the results of all the samples on the Swim Guide application, social media (Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MiamiWaterkeeper, Instagram @miamiwaterkeeper, Twitter @MiamiWaterkpr) and the MWK website (https://www.miamiwaterkeeper.org/water_monitoring?utm_campaign=water-quality&utm_medium=link&utm_source=kb-newsletter).

Sampling locations where bacteria analysis reveals poor water quality, even after one sample, are indicated by a red site marker on Swim Guide.
WATER QUALITY SAMPLING INFORMATION AT LOCAL BEACHES

The following links are to State of Florida Department of Health (DOH) webpages with information about water quality sampling at local beaches in and near Key Biscayne.

Main Page: DOH "Florida Healthy Beaches Program"

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/

Since August 2002, the health deparment in Miami-Dade County and other coastal counties have collected water samples at local beaches on a weekly basis. These beach water samples are analyzed for enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria. High concentrations of these bacteria may indicate the presence of microorganisms that could cause disease, infections, or rashes. County health departments issue health advisories or warnings when these conditions are confirmed.

Miami Dade County Beach Water Quality Sampling Locations and Results

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Dade&Zip=33126

Beach Water Quality Sampling locations within Miami-Dade County are shown on an interactive map. Weekly results of tests are given in tabular form below the map for each location and descriptions of sampling/result parameters are given below the results. Four sampling points (SPs) are located in Key Biscayne: Cape Florida Park, Crandon Park - Key Biscayne (North),  Crandon Park South and Key Biscayne Beach. Two sampling points are located in Virginia Key: Dog Beach and Virginia Beach.

Beach Water Sampling Result History for Key Biscayne Beach (Sampling location is at the Key Biscayne Beach Club)

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/beach-detail.html?County=Dade&SPLocation=KEY%20BISCAYNE%20BEACH&SPNo=&SPLat=25.68936307&SPLong=-80.15655782

Why should I be concerned about water quality?

What Do Enterococci Levels Tell Us About Water Quality and Safety?

How to Find Water Sampling Info for Key Biscayne

References

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