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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-66-2016 Bacterial levels

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Erin Bryan-Millush / J.D. Potts
Date:  Sept. 7, 2016
Phone: 252-726-6827 exts. 8153 / 8154

Bacterial levels at most ocean beaches in state meet
recreational water quality standards

MOREHEAD CITY — State recreational water quality officials today announced that bacterial levels at all ocean beaches in Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Carteret, Onslow and Pender counties meet the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for swimming and water play.

Bacterial levels at Oak Island, Yaupon Beach and Caswell Beach in Brunswick County also meet swimming standards.

On Sept. 3, state officials recommended that the public avoid swimming in all coastal waters statewide due to high rainfall and flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine that may have led to excessive bacteria in the water. Floodwaters and stormwater runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems and sewer line breaks, pet and wildlife waste, petroleum products and other chemicals that can make people sick.

The recommendation remains in effect for all sound-side waters statewide and for ocean-side waters in New Hanover and the remaining portion of Brunswick County. Water samples from the ocean beaches in New Hanover County and the remainder of Brunswick County have been collected and test results will be final later this week. 

Additionally, two advisories remain in effect in Dare County: Jockey’s Ridge sound-side access and Colington Harbour, both in Nags Head. State officials will continue testing these sites, and will remove the signs and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to levels within the state and federal standards.

Recreational water quality officials sample 204 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when waters are colder.

For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.

nr-66-2016

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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