Pat McCrory, Governor

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Donald R. van der Vaart, Secretary

 

Release: Immediate

Contact: Erin Bryan-Millush

Date: April 28, 2016

Phone: 252-726-6827 ext. 8153

 

Water quality swimming advisory issued for sound-side site in Dare County

 

MOREHEAD CITY – An advisory against swimming was posted today at a sound-side site in Dare County, where state officials found bacteria levels in the water that exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.

The advisory affects the Jockey’s Ridge sound-side access in Nags Head. Water samples taken on Wednesday indicate levels that exceed the state and federal action levels of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high-usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.

The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws. Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies show that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the action level have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Nags Head area. Swimming advisories are for water within 200 feet of the sign. The sign posted reads as follows:

 

ATTENTION

SWIMMING IN THIS AREA IS NOT RECOMMENDED. BACTERIA TESTING INDICATES

LEVELS OF CONTAMINATION THAT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
HEALTH. THIS ADVISORY AFFECTS WATERS WITHIN 200’ OF THIS SIGN.

OFFICE OF THE STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR

 

State officials will continue testing the site, and will remove the sign and notify the public when bacteria levels decrease to below the standards.

State 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 the waters are colder.

To find out more about North Carolina’s beach 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 athttps://twitter.com/ncrecprgm.

portal.ncdenr.org
N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program. The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program began testing coastal waters in 1997. Our mission is to protect the public health …


 

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