Water quality swimming notifications lifted for two sound-side sites in Pamlico County


State recreational water quality officials today lifted a water quality swimming advisory and one swimming alert for two sound-side swimming areas in Pamlico County.

The notifications were lifted because water testing shows that bacteria levels have dropped to within the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for swimming and water play.

Both notifications were posted yesterday at areas along Dawson Creek in Janerio. The advisory was posted at the public access on the south side of Dawson Creek Bridge, and the alert was issued for the public access 500 yards north of Dawson Creek Bridge. Tests of water samples from these sites showed bacteria levels that exceeded 276 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, the standard for low-usage sites. Tests of water samples now show 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.

Enterococci, the name for the group of bacteria used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While the bacteria group’s presence does not cause illness itself, scientific studies indicate that the presence of enterococci is closely correlated to the presence of other organisms that may cause illness. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.

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.

This press release is related to: