MOREHEAD CITY – State officials announced today that bacteria levels at ocean-side swimming sites in New Hanover and Carteret counties meet state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming.
The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program has tested all established ocean-side sites in these counties and found that bacteria levels fall below the state and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards set for swimming and water play.
State officials had advised the public Sunday to take precautions when swimming in coastal and sound-sidewaters, as excessive rains and flooding from Hurricane Irene could have increased levels of bacteria in the water.
The state is continuing to test swimming waters in other coastal areas.
Floodwaters and stormwater runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.
The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program samples 240 sampling sites in coastal waters of the state, most of them on a weekly basis from April through October.