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Water-Related News

South Palma Sola Bay passes bacteria testing, north bay under scrutiny

It depends on how and where one looks at the waters of Palma Sola Bay when determining its health.

Water testing for enterococcus bacteria on the south side of the bay indicates good or moderate quality while testing on the north side of the bay frequently indicates poor or unhealthy water quality.

Palma Sola Bay is an embayment in west Manatee that flows into Anna Maria Sound and provides sanctuary for manatees, dolphins, wading birds, fish and other wildlife, as well as serving as a recreation area for people.

Suncoast Waterkeeper has been collecting water quality data from the north side of the bay — north of Manatee Avenue at the Palma Sola Causeway just before the humpback bridge nearest the mainland.

The group’s results have shown levels of enterococcus bacteria consistently exceed those on the south side, which is monitored by the Manatee County Department of Health.

Enterococcus bacteria, associated with fecal contamination, can pose health risks to people, including gastrointestinal issues and skin infections.