We are issuing a special warning for Perdido Bay due to the presence of a lyngbya algal bloom. We recommend not swimming if you see the bloom in your water. The algae itself can cause health concerns such as skin irritation and potentially stomach illness. The bloom can also cause increased levels of fecal indicator bacteria such as E. coli and Enterococcus.
At this time we have no evidence there has been a sewage spill or other release of human fecal matter but we continue to monitor the issue. This special warning is independent from the usual ADEM testing at these sites. While algal blooms are naturally occurring, they can be caused or worsened by nutrient pollution including from fertilizer and other sources.
We tested samples taken on Saturday and Monday. The most recent results show Enterococcus levels of 92 MPN/100ml at Lillian Bay Boat Launch and 81 MPN/100ml at a private residence on Perdido Bay off Boykin Blvd., which are both below the EPA threshold for safe swimming. Although these test results show low levels of Enterococcus, we still advise the community to stay out of the water at least as long as the algae is present. Thank you to experts at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for definitively identifying the algae as lyngbya.