North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
Release: Immediate Contact: Erin Bryan-Millush / J.D. Potts
Date: Oct. 13, 2015 Phone: 252-726-6827 exts. 8153 / 8154
Precautionary swimming advisory lifted for sites in Dare, Currituck counties
MOREHEAD CITY – State recreational water quality officials today lifted a precautionary swimming advisory for ocean beaches in Dare and Currituck counties.
The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program has tested ocean-side sites in Dare and Currituck counties and found that bacteria levels fall below the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards set for swimming and water play.
On Oct. 5, state officials advised the public to avoid swimming in all coastal waters statewide due to high rainfall and flooding from recent storms that may have led to excessive bacteria in the water. Floodwaters and stormwater runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems and sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.
Additionally, an advisory issued at the Colington Harbour swimming beach at the end of Colington Drive in Kill Devil Hills on Aug. 26 has been lifted. The sign advising against swimming, skiing or otherwise coming into contact with the water has been removed.
One advisory remains in effect in Dare County at the Jockey’s Ridge sound-side access in Nags Head. State officials will continue testing the site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.
A precautionary advisory remains in effect for sound-side waters in Onslow, Pender and New Hanover counties, as well as ocean-side beaches in Hyde County. The state is continuing to test the swimming waters and will notify the public when test results show they meet swimming standards.
Recreational water quality officials sample 204 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when waters are colder.
For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.