The Escambia County Health Department issued a health alert today for the Bayou Grande Marina after an Emerald Coast Utilities Authority sewer main break that spilled 35,000 gallons of wastewater into the bayou Wednesday.
During repairs, a second spill occurred at the lift station due to pump trucks being unable to keep up with water flow, according to the Health Department. Both spills affected the storm water system into the bayou.
The department tested the water and found high levels of bacteria from the sewage leak, spokeswoman Erica Holland said.
“They’ve deemed certain levels of bacteria in the water that are unacceptable for humans,” Holland said. “Our main concern is any kind of disease that could result from bacteria could possibly occur, so we issued (the health alert) to prevent that kind of illness.”
Holland said people should refrain from swimming, boating and other water-related activities in Bayou Grande until the health alert is lifted.
Department officials will continue to monitor the situation as ECUA works on fixing the main break, Holland said.
“We’ll continue testing,” she said. “As soon as the bacteria levels have gone down to an acceptable level that it wouldn’t be dangerous for water activity, we’ll lift the alert.”