High bacteria levels reported at beaches not keeping vacationers away

Piper Demland is having the time of his life playing in the water with his dad. They’ve caught some minnows and Piper keeps scooping them out of the bucket with his hand to watch them flop back into the water. His family is renting a beach house at Surfside Beach despite the warnings about the water.

"Yeah we did see it and we were kind of disappointed, but the longer we are here the more we are like ‘We're going to get in.’ So that's kind of how it went," said his stepmother Tara.

The Texas General Land Office has issued warnings for Brazoria and Matagorda counties that there's high levels of Enterococci bacteria. It can cause people who swim in the waters to get sick, especially if they have open cuts of a compromised immune system.

So where did these bacteria invaders come from?

Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is investigating, but Larry Davison, the mayor of Surfside, says he knows where it didn't come from...here.

The bacteria is found in farm runoff, animal waste, and sewage treatment plants. He says inland rains along the Colorado river are probably to blame and that bacteria has finally made it here.

"It's unusual for us. It's not unusual along the coast near rivers and stuff like that when it floods. It happens and usually it's gone I like a week or so. Surfside is in a unique place where it effects other people worse than us," said Davison.

Normally these warnings last a week at most. But they end when they end. He says the timing is especially bad. Beach season here is in full swing. But he says it's been a pretty good year. The blue water is back and families like the Demlands aren't being deterred, mostly.

"I was hoping she'd get her first dip in the water but I'm not putting her in the water," Tara said about her 3-month-old daughter.

Don't worry, Lila will likely get another chance.