Liquid mystery: Fluctuating water quality tests stump experts

Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 03:03 PM.

With water quality testing ending for the season in Walton County , results have been fluctuating between "poor" and "good" over the past few weeks. As it turns out, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Walton County is just as confused as local residents.

"We actually have no idea why the quality has been changing," said Crystal Steele, environmental manager for FDOH Walton County . "We've noticed the changes and notified the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), but they have not seen any sewage spills."

Steele said the heavy rainfall in July and August could be a factor.

"When the Coastal Dune Lakes open up it can cause issues to the water quality," she said.

However, no concrete evidence has been able to point to an exact culprit.

The FDOH in Walton County samples the water quality weekly from March to the last week in October. It used be all year round, but was cut because of funding shortfalls.

"Since it gets colder up here compared to South Florida , you may not have as many people in the water," Steele explained. "And usually when the weather cools down, the water quality gets better."

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