Swim Guide gives an ‘all-clear’ on the Neuse and Tar-Pam

Published 4:01 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

Sound Rivers’ water-quality testing results for February are in, and all 11 of the sites tested in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico watersheds came back clean.

“All 11 of the locations sampled this week are in the clear, and were below EPA’s standard for E. coli bacteria in recreational waters. We hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy this warm weather and clean water!” said Sound Rivers’ Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell.

The year-round version of Swim Guide monitors sites for E. coli bacteria in fresh water and enterococci bacteria in brackish or salt water, both of which can cause an increased risk of gastrointestinal illness and skin infections in humans and their pets. Sites are given a pass/fail designation based on federal and state water-quality standards.

This scaled-down version of the water-quality program will run until Memorial Day, when the summer program restarts. Then, Sound Rivers tests water samples from more than 50 popular recreational sites throughout both watersheds. Results are released every Friday afternoon, letting the public know where it’s safe to swim all summer long.

“We know that recreation in our waterways is not limited to the summer months, so we wanted to provide water-quality information all year-round,” Howell said.

Currently, water samples are being taken and tested from public-access points at Falls Lake and Buffaloe Road in Raleigh; the River Walk in Clayton; Port Terminal and Town Common in Greenville; Washington waterfront and Dinah’s Landing in Washington; Cotton Patch Landing on Blounts Creek; Lawson Creek and Glenburnie parks in New Bern; and off of Midyette Street in Oriental.

The next date results will be released is March 30. Results can be found at soundrivers.org/swimguide.

To sign up for Swim Guide text alerts, text “SWIM” to 33222 to have results delivered weekly. For results in Spanish, text “NADAR” to 33222.

Based in Raleigh, New Bern and Washington, Sound Rivers has worked for more than 40 years to protect the health of the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico rivers and the communities that rely on them. The two watersheds cover nearly a quarter of North Carolina.

Sound Rivers’ Swim Guide program is sponsored by Grady-White Boats and The Greenville Rotary Club. For more information, visit soundrivers.org.