The precautionary advisory against swimming is now lifted for all coastal waters, except for two sound-side locations in Dare County.
State officials today lifted the precautionary advisory for ocean recreational swimming sites from Nags Head to Corolla. 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 Oregon Inlet.
The precautionary advisory against swimming remains in effect for the Colington Harbour swimming beach at the end of Colington Drive in Kill Devil Hills. Access to this area remains closed and state officials have been unable to collect a water sample to test for bacteria levels.
Additionally, an advisory sign was posted today at the Jockey's Ridge Sound-side Access in Nags Head, where test results of water samples from the site show a running monthly average that exceeds the state and Environmental Protection Agency standard for swimming and other water contact. State officials will continue testing this site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standard.
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