The precautionary advisory against swimming is now been lifted for all coastal waters south of Oregon Inlet.
State officials today lifted the precautionary advisory for ocean and sound-side recreational swimming sites at Ocracoke, Hatteras and Pea islands. Test results of water samples taken from these waters show bacterial levels that meet the state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming and other contact with the water.
The precautionary advisory was previously lifted for all coastal waters south of Ocracoke Inlet.
The precautionary advisory against swimming remains in effect for all ocean and sound-side sites in most of Dare, and all of Currituck counties, from Oregon Inlet to the Virginia state line. State officials collected water samples in these areas today and test results are not yet final.
Earlier tests of water samples collected in these areas showed levels of bacteria that exceed the state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming and other contact with the water. To see results of these tests, go to the Sampling Data Map on the Recreational Water Quality Program’s website. Residents and visitors, including fishermen, who cannot avoid contacting those waters should exercise caution, limit wound exposure, and thoroughly wash their hands.
The precautionary advisory was issued Sept. 3 as Hurricane Dorian approached the North Carolina coast because excessive rains and flooding can cause high levels of bacteria in the water that can make people sick. Floodwaters and storm water runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.
Recreational water quality officials sample 209 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