Outer Banks water quality swimming advisory issued for sound-side site in Dare County

Outer Banks 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 is for the Jockey’s Ridge sound-side access in Nags Head, where water samples taken yesterday 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.

Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies indicate 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 affect 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 they will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels 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.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 …
Excessive rains may cause pollution in ocean and sound-side swimming waters #OuterBanksNC

Excessive rains may cause pollution in ocean and sound-side swimming waters #OuterBanksNC

MOREHEAD CITY – State officials are recommending that the public avoid swimming in all coastal waters statewide due to high rainfall and flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine that may have led to excessive bacteria in the water.

Floodwaters and storm water runoff often contain pollutants, such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet and wildlife feces, petroleum products, and other chemicals that can make people sick. Typically, the risk of illness grows with rainfall amounts.

The public should avoid swimming in coastal waters until bacteriological testing indicates bacteria levels fall within the state’s and the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for swimming and water play. People should especially avoid swimming near storm water outfalls and inlets as these areas tend to have concentrated amounts of pollutants.

The towns of Carolina Beach and Oak Island have begun pumping floodwaters to the beach and more may do so as the day continues. These areas, including the wet sand where the floodwater is pumped, should be avoided, even if no sign is posted.

The Division of Marine Fisheries’ Recreational Water Quality Program staff will test swimming waters and notify the public of the results. Staff will test ocean swimming areas first as these areas typically return to normal conditions faster than those of rivers, sounds and creeks.

The Recreational Water Quality Program in the Division of Marine Fisheries samples 204 sites at ocean and sound beaches weekly from April to October in accordance with federal and state laws. For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website athttp://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on 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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