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30A Skunkape

Mr. Small Box
Jan 18, 2006
10,141
2,159
50
Backatown Seagrove
In regards to the title of this thread, I would love to see the septic tanks go, but there is a vocal group of tank owners who seem to think having a leaky septic tank is protected by the 14th Amendment. It will never happen.

Regarding the issue of people being sick from getting in the gulf, I must say I have seen no bump in people with GI illness. If there are clusters of tourists getting gastroenteritis the odds are way more likely it is due to viral infection that spreads like wildfire among confined groups. Think norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships you hear about on the news from time to time. Something about the scenario where the water that would feed bacteria into the gulf being clean (the dune lakes) while the gulf coloform levels are high just does not make sense. I like the theory that this is a fluke due to extraordinary runoff from points west combined with conditions that favor the bacteria proliferating. We'll see, I guess.
 

Scooter

Beach Fanatic
Mar 3, 2005
692
31
Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA
Bent,

I did not go out to eat the entire time that I was there. The Walton county sheriff drove right behind us on Grayton beach with his loud speaker making the announcement. He would stop every few feet or so and make it again. People down by the water didn't even hear him. They actually came up and asked us what he said. I know most people do not want to believe it was from the Gulf. Believe me, I'm getting ready to build a home in Grayton, and this worries me. I do believe though that it was an isolated incident due to the heavy rains over the previous weeks. Pensacola hadn't had a deluge like that since the 1800's. Regarding the septic tank drains, I would be willing to join some type of committee to investigate and work to eliminate them completely.
 

Mango

SoWal Insider
Apr 7, 2006
9,712
1,360
New York/ Santa Rosa Beach
I read a study somewhere that when high surf suspends upper layers of organic sediment in the water it can increase bacteria counts in the Gulf (especially around the Mississippi delta). Maybe the combination of high runoff and high surf had a double whammy effect. This settles down fairly quickly when the surf drops. On the other hand, I'm sure there have been other periods of high surf and high rain without producing poor water quality result tests, so I still think this is a puzzler.

There is also a lot of farmland to consider in that area near the Delta. I am glad you raised this.

I was sick as a dog in May in Sowal and it was definitely not from swimming in the Gulf. It was most likely viral or food poisoning. My husband had it before we left for Sowal and I got it a few days later.

Let us also not forgot to make sure we clean the beaches and leave them the way we found them since that contributes to water quality also. It's also normal to hear of water quality advisories after storms and after past hurricanes; the beaches have been closed until the water could be tested and was normal. Suspended and bedded sediments (organic and inorganic matter) get loose when you have more violent waters from storms, too.
 

jack S

Beach Lover
Jun 12, 2007
173
84
This bacteria has a high survival rate in beach sand! Nutrients in the sand can make a perfect breeding ground! Our beaches have been polluted with dispersed oil, that has attached to sand grains, been moved by sea and wind up the beach and was deposited in a thick sedimentary layer below the surface. First the large trucks disturbed this layer, Then wave action. So don't be so quick to let BP off the hook. This enterococci bateria can live without feces.
 

Zebraspots

Beach Fanatic
May 15, 2008
840
247
Santa Rosa Beach
Last week every area except Holley had an advisory issued and this week every area except Holley is okay? Something weird is going on.
 

justhavinfun

Beach Fanatic
Nov 13, 2008
345
83
Eastern Lake
Just an opinion - When the coastal dune lakes break open there will be a great deal of lake water flowing into the gulf - I know from living on Eastern Lake, many residents still have septic tanks and with all the rain over the last few weeks the ground is saturated. I am not a scientist by any means but when you have the amount of rain and the lakes draining into the gulf, this has to contribute to the bacteria levels being measured. If you walk behind One Seagrove Place, there is a major drainage pipe that flows water from 30A into the gulf as well. How that was approved is beyond me..
 
Last edited:

Kurt Lischka

Admin
Staff member
Oct 15, 2004
12,457,771
4,552
SoWal
mooncreek.com
Just an opinion - When the coastal dune lakes break open there will be a great deal of lake water flowing into the gulf - I know from living on Eastern Lake, many residents still have septic tanks and with all the rain over the last few weeks the ground is saturated. I am not a scientist by any means but when you have the amount of rain and the lakes draining into the gulf, this has to contribute to the bacteria levels being measured. If you walk behind One Seagrove Place, there is a major drainage pipe that flows water from 30A into the gulf as well. How that was approved is beyond me..

That pipe drains wetlands north of Cassine Gardens, not sewer. So it is basically the same as a lake outflow, although there may be some parking lot, lawn, and road runoff at times mixed in.

You are right about septic tanks on lakes, but we've never seen levels bad enough to cause sickness described earlier in this thread. I am for the removal of them.

I have seen outflows stagnant for months with so much growing in them that I wouldn't put a toe in. Scary stuff after several months of summer heat and thousands of baby loads, and various dead animals in there. Good thing it's not too common.
 
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