Extensive water testing helps determine when and where to safely swim on Key Biscayne beaches

By Hillard Grossman

Published: September 5, 2023

Read the original article on IslanderNews.com

During the final August Village Council meeting, Councilmember Allison McCormick said some residents need clarification about which water quality-monitoring results they should follow regarding the cleanliness of, say, the areas at Crandon Park and even the Beach Club.

According to Dr. Roland Samimy, Chief of Resiliency and Sustainability, Miami Waterkeeper samples weekly at four locations: Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Mariner Drive, Key Biscayne Beach Club, and the public beach access area near Silver Sands Beach Resort. Results are posted on the Swim Guide.

Positive results would result in another test the next day.

Also conducting quality tests is the Florida Department of Health in Miami and Surfrider. But a positive test doesn't necessarily mean the water quality on Key Biscayne has been impacted.

"One of the things is trying to prove a negative," Village Manager Steve Williamson said. "We're very hesitant that when something comes out at Crandon Park and says, 'We have an issue,' that we'd turn around and say, 'There is no issue.' ... Adults need to be adults (to make that decision)."

During a July report on confusing results by Islander News, where a conflict between reports by Swim Guide and the Florida Department of Health, Samantha Barquin, Chief of Staff for Miami Waterkeeper, said a red status means "the beach's most recent test results failed to meet water quality standards. We leave it up to (swimmers) to make an individual choice."

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