Davis Islands residents concerned about dog feces on swimming beach

FL Heath Dept: beach testing positive for E. Coli
Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 17:41:21-04

People are being warned to stay out of the water at two popular local beaches after both tested positive for enterococci bacteria.

The Florida Health Department says there's evidence of  enteric bacteria at Davis Islands Beach and Bahia Beach, which is an indication of fecal pollution. They said that may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.

This comes as people living on Davis Islands say they've been dealing with a smelly situation at the Davis Islands Beach for years.

While the weather may be beautiful and the view of the boats close to perfection, beachgoers say they'll often look down to find piles of dog feces.

"It's nasty!" said Tim Farrell, who walked the beach Wednesday morning.

These two say the Davis Islands Swimming Beach has been a playground for dogs, despite a posted notice saying "no dogs allowed."

While the beach was empty on Wednesday, the evidence of dogs, from pawprints to piles of feces, was right there in front of them.

"People need to be more responsible dog owners," said Beachgoer Chrissy D'Antonio.

"And respectful," Farrell added. "How would they feel if I brought five dogs or six dogs into their yard? and just let them poop and not clean it up?"

"Well, it makes the area kind of a low-end place, frankly," said Mike Swindal, a Davis Islands resident. "I try to pick up the trash before it gets in the water, because that's an environmental concern,"  

People posting about this topic on the popular neighborhood app NextDoor:

"I've lived here for 9 years & the people beach has been " no dogs allowed" the whole time," one Davis Islands woman posted. "There used to be three signs that designated it as such and were clear to see but two of them have disappeared. Today when I walked out there, there were three big piles of dookey. Gross!"

Parks can not fine individuals who are not incompliance. However, parks workers can ask the individual to leave or have them trespassed by Tampa Police. Parks cannot issue trespass.

Both beaches are being retested for bacteria on Monday, April 10.