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Florida Department of Health warns of possible bacterial contamination in the Withlacoochee River

Panama City says 4,500 gallons of raw sewage entered St. Andrews Bay due to an broken air...
Panama City says 4,500 gallons of raw sewage entered St. Andrews Bay due to an broken air release cap on a force main in Panama City. (KHON)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 3:49 PM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 9, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida Department of Health is warning Madison and Hamilton county residents of potential bacterial contamination in the Withlacoochee River.

FDOH says until further information is known regarding the possible contamination of the river with "elevated fecal bacteria," people in the area are urged to take precautions when coming into contact with the river.

Officials say the FDOH and the Department of Environmental Protection are conducting water sampling.

Authorities say anyone who comes into contact with water from the river should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking.

FDOH says if anyone has questions or is seeking more information, contact DOH-Madison at 850-973-5000 or visit

and DOH-Hamilton at 386-758-1059 or