Water quality swimming advisory lifted for sound-side site in Beaufort County

Published 3:07 pm Thursday, October 29, 2020

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From North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries

MOREHEAD CITY — State recreational water quality officials Thursday lifted a water quality swimming advisory for a sound-side swimming area in Beaufort County.

The advisory was lifted because water testing shows that bacteria levels have dropped below the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards set for swimming and water play.

The advisory was posted at the public access to the Pamlico River at the Havens Garden park off of Park Drive in Washington on Oct. 28. Test results of water samples collected at the site showed levels of enterococci that exceed the state and federal single-sample standards. The site now shows bacteria levels below the state and federal recreational water quality standards.

The sign advising against swimming, skiing or otherwise coming into contact with the water has been removed.

The advisory issued yesterday for Pantego Creek at the intersection of East Main and Tooley streets in Belhaven remains in effect until Nov. 1, which is the end of the swimming season.
Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it is not known to 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 standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

Coastal recreational waters in North Carolina are generally clean. However, it is important to continue monitoring them, so the public can be informed of any localized problems. The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program samples 210 sites in coastal waters of the state, most of them on a weekly basis from April through October.

For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website , view a map of the testing sites, and follow the program’s Twitter feed.