Just over one month ago, my article “Nothing New on Marco Island” addressed our chronic waterways’ issues, and I appreciated Mr. Rola’s “Guest Commentary” in reply.
My title would be inaccurate this month—water tests for June and July suggest there is something new in our waterways. Monthly tests always include one for ‘Enterococci’ which is a bacterium considered by public health scientists as a marker for human fecal matter, i.e. ‘poop.’
Table 1 indicates five locations across Marco where some elevated level has been observed over the last two months. The State considers a figure of 130 to be the ‘MCL threshold’ where human health concerns are real, related to potential contact with the waters. I would also note that the threshold is decided by the State, it’s not a national number. The number “10” is a baseline number and should not be considered a point of concern. The figures highlighted in yellow would likely result in beach closings were these figures recorded there.
Once again, as Council Candidates work to connect in these difficult times, I urge them to commit to doing something about our waterways, beyond ‘wait and see.’ Why are we now seeing gut bacteria in our canals, why this year, where are water issues on your priority list? The City has no Public Health officer, who is responsible for dealing with these results?
If you’re a canal user, these numbers suggest you should try harder than ever not to fall in! Please stay safe.