JUST IN: Boca bans swimming at all city beaches due to bacteria levels

Midtown Beach warning of high levels of bacteria.
( Palm Beach Post file photo by Lannis Waters)

BOCA RATON — No swimming at Boca Raton beaches, city officials said Wednesday shortly after the Florida Department of Health reported elevated bacteria levels.

The beaches will remain open to the public, but double red flags are raised, which indicate no swimming.

The city hopes full use of the beach will be restored between 24 and 48 hours, said city spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson.

A health advisory was posted Wednesday morning after two Boca Raton beaches were found to have elevated bacteria levels, the Florida Department of Health reports.

Spanish River Park, at 3001 N. Ocean Blvd, and South Inlet Park, at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd, showed bacteria levels greater than 71 colonies per 100 milliliters of marine water, putting the beaches in the “poor range,” the department reports. For reference, a good range is between zero and 35 colonies per 100 milliliters.

The bacterial spike, noticed after the water was sampled Sunday, could be caused by wildlife, heavy recreational usage, high surf from high winds and high tides or runoff following heavy rains, but the exact cause is unknown.