ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 17, 2017) – Initial test results from water samples taken from waters in and around Coffee Pot Bayou and Riviera Bay have shown no abnormalities.
“From all we’ve seen, the water there is in overall good shape,” said Interim Water Resources Director John Palenchar. “But we will continue testing, and so the signs will stay up for awhile.”
Warnings for recreational water users about the dead pelicans (first seen at a retention pond near Riviera Bay, then over the past weekend in and around Coffee Pot Bayou) were posted along the shore line from North Shore Park through Coffee Pot Bayou. The signs informed residents about the enhanced and cooperative testing being spearheaded by the city of St. Petersburg and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC). The City has also brought in an independent biologist to further study what’s causing the birds to be sick.
Initial water samples from the retention pond where the sick birds were first encountered showed low levels of dissolved oxygen. Samples from nearby Riviera Bay and waters further south into Coffee Pot Bayou had normal levels of oxygen. In addition, the other tested elements fell within normal parameters for recreational waterways, with the exception of a lone site near the Coffee Pot Bayou boat ramp that showed poor water quality.
“We will continue to work with the FWCC and our independent partners to pinpoint the problem,” said Palenchar. Palenchar added that the incident is in no way related to last summer’s heavy rains and the subsequent discharge of potentially treated sewage water.
The latest information can be found at www.stpete.org/water/waterquality.php. More information will be released when it becomes available.