NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — With Florida red tide now a major concern in Brevard County, neighboring Volusia County is taking precautions.

  • Volusia County tests for red tide
  • Samples will be sent to a lab in St. Pete
  • Red tide in neighboring Brevard has caused concern

County officials began testing Tuesday at three locations, including Hiles Beach approach and Crawford Beach approach in New Smyrna Beach, and the Granada Beach approach in Ormond Beach.

By later afternoon, officials said a sample from October 17 had revealed Karenia Brevis, aslo known as Florida red tide, at a level of 667 cells per liter.

High concentrations of red tide began popping up at Brevard County's beaches last week, resulting in thousands of dead fish littering the beach, and respiratory issues affecting beachgoers and residents alike.

Volusia County Beach Safety officials said red tide activity in Brevard County hits close to home and that they've received calls from concerned citizens.

"We're getting some premilinary background data and anecdotal information about people calling about fish kills and some irritation," said Randall Sleister, Volusia County Water Quality Activity manager. "None of that was confirmed, so we wanteed to come out and take water samples."

The samples will be sent to a lab in St. Petersburg, which will perform an analysis, according to Rob Walsh, Volusia County Environmental Manager for Activity. Officials hope to get the results back by Thursday. 

Last week Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation reported background concentrations of K. Brevis had made its way to Volusia County's coast. 

However, over the weekend Volusia County Beach Safety denied there was any evidence of red tide at any of its beaches.

FWC has requested that samples be collected weekly. Volusia County plans to test again next Monday. 

Spectrum News 13 reporter Brittany Jones contributed to this report.