All sites pass water-quality test   

Published 7:58 am Saturday, January 27, 2024

All sites on the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico passed the Swim Guide test for January.

“It’s always good news to get good water-quality results back,” said Clay Barber, Sound Rivers’ program director.

This scaled-down version of Swim Guide provides monthly water-quality results for sites across the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico watersheds until the 2024 summer Swim Guide program starts. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Sound Rivers tests more than 50 sites weekly, letting the public know where it’s safe to swim all summer long. In the cooler months, the number of sites tested is scaled back to 17.

“It makes sense to keep the program going year-round because people recreate on our waterways in every season,” Barber said.

Sites are monitored for E. coli bacteria in freshwater and enterococci bacteria in brackish or salt water, both of which can cause an increased risk of gastrointestinal illness and skin infections in both humans and their pets. Each site is given a pass/fail designation based on federal and state water-quality standards.

Sites being tested monthly on the Neuse include Rolling View on Falls Lake; Buffaloe Road and Poole Road in Raleigh; Clayton River Walk; Busco Beach and the Neuse River boat ramp in Goldsboro; the boating access and Cliffs of the Neuse State Park’s swim area in Seven Springs; the N.C. Highway 11 boat ramp in Kinston; Lawson Creek in New Bern; Slocum Creek in Havelock; and the Midyette Street boat ramp in Oriental. Sites on the Tar-Pamlico are Stith-Talbert Park in Rocky Mount; Wildwood Park and Port Terminal in Greenville; and Havens Gardens and Pamlico Plantation in Washington.

Rolling View and the Cliffs of the Neuse swim area were not tested in this round of Swim Guide.

Swim Guide results are also posted on the Sound Rivers website at

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 the Water Quality Fund in Memory of Gene Pate.