State recreational water quality officials today advised beachgoers to be aware of the floodwaters being pumped to the ocean surf in Oak Island. Surfers and swimmers should avoid these sites.
Recent rains caused flooding of streets, yards, and housing in parts of Oak Island and nearby communities. To minimize the flooding damage and to ensure roads are accessible for emergency vehicles, the town has pumped floodwater into the ocean near Crowell Street.
These waters can contain pollutants such as waste from wildlife and pets, oil and gasoline from parking lots and waste from septic systems or sewers.
This notice does not imply that disease-causing organisms are present in the water; it is meant to caution beachgoers of an increased risk of contamination that can cause adverse health effects.
Town officials will place signs at the discharge site along the ocean beach to warn the public of the possible health risk and will remove the signs 24 hours after the pumping stops. State officials will notify the public after the signs are removed.
Officials with the state Recreational Water Quality Program sample 215 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 the waters are colder.
For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program or to a view a map of testing sites, visit the program’s website, and follow the program’s Twitter feed.