Water quality alerts for multiple sites in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse basins

Published 1:13 am Monday, August 6, 2018

Multiple water samples collected this week by Sound Rivers in the Tar-Pamlico River basin showed high levels of fecal bacteria during testing. The public is recommended to use caution when recreating on or particularly in the water near these locations.

Test results of water samples collected on Aug. 2 showed unhealthy levels of E. coli or enterococci bacteria that were higher than the recommended state and federal criteria at the following sites: Pungo River at Woodstock Point, Bath Creek at Bonner Point and Trent River at Lawson Creek Park.

Enterococci and E. coli , the bacteria groups used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While many strains are harmless, others can cause illness, therefore enterococci and E. coli are used as indicators for recent fecal contamination of waterways. Salt waters are tested for Enterococci and fresh waters are tested for E. coli. People swimming or playing in waters with fecal bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections. Healthy levels are below 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters or 235 E. coli per 100 milliliters.

Sound Rivers is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,000 members with a mission to monitor and protect the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico rivers’ watersheds, covering nearly one quarter of North Carolina, and to preserve the health and beauty of the river basins through environmental justice. This monitoring is made possible by support from Grady White Boats, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership and another generous donor.

To find out more about water quality in your area, go to

www.soundrivers.org/swimguide or text “SWIM” to 33222 for weekly water quality text updates.