Concerns over safety of water in the Gulf of Mexico

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Concerns over safety of water in Gulf of Mexico, Natasha Barrett reports. (KTRK)

For families who planned their vacation to Galveston, the idea of local flood waters posing a problem was an afterthought.

"Now that I know that I'm actually going to research it and see if we need to be more careful or what you can take," said Sarah Crowvis who is visiting from Forth Worth.

Recently, several Galveston beaches tested for high levels of bacteria. Although, as of this week, only Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula tested high.

The Director of Environmental Health Services for Galveston County, Ronald Schultz, says they test 52 different beaches around Galveston Island every week for bacteria levels. But, he says, he is surprised the flood waters have not caused more problems.

"We've not seen the numbers that we expected," Schultz said.

Another big concern for beach goers is the potential of sea lice. Officials with the health department in Galveston county say sea lice is not an issue.

VIDEO: Sea lice invading Gulf Coast beaches

Dr. Valencia Thomas from UT Health/Memorial Hermann pointed out, "The good news is that sea lice do not infest the Gulf of Mexico Waters that are next to Houston. The blooms tend to happen in Florida. Particularly on the east and west coast but in general we don't see this type of eruption here."

"It has to do with the type of jellyfish we have and how warm the water is. So, we're not a very prime jellyfish reproduction area," Thomas added.

To learn more about sea lice, visit

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