Palma Sola Bay water advisory posted

Sewage spill
Palma Sola Bay water tested good at this spot on Monday, Dec. 11, the day of a sewage spill, but "No Skin Contact" signs are being posted Friday, Dec. 15 as a precaution.

Updated Dec. 22, 2017 – This advisory has been lifted except for Palma Sola Creek as of Dec. 22; the bay is safe for water activities, according to the Florida Department of Health.

BRADENTON – The Florida Department of Health’s Manatee County office has issued a “No Skin Contact” advisory for Palma Sola Bay due to a sewage spill on Monday, Dec. 11 at 66th Street West and Cortez Road.

The advisory indicates that water contact, including swimming, fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding, may pose an increased risk of infectious diseases.

The advisory will be in effect until testing ensures the water meets Environmental Protection Agency safety guidelines, DOH-Manatee Communications Director Tom Iovino said.

Palma Sola Bay water tested “good” on Dec. 11, however, pollutants could have spread to the bay since then, necessitating the precautionary warning, he said.

A Code Red call will be made to surrounding property owners beginning Friday, Dec. 15, Iovino said.

Warning signs also have been placed along Palma Sola Boulevard and will remain until water sampling results indicate the water is safe, said Amy Pilson, the public affairs liaison for the Manatee County Utilities Department. Water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) which can cause human disease, infections or rashes.

The force main break that caused the spill was repaired by Thursday morning, stopping the sewage overflow, Pilson said, adding that trucks began collecting the overflow and returning it back to the system Thursday.

Crews are working to restore the intersection to normal use; a lane closure is in effect until then.

For more information about the spill, call Manatee County Utilities at 941-792-8811 ext. 5268 or 5345 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.