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MOREHEAD CITY – State recreational water quality officials today are alerting the public that initial testing at a sound-side site in Pamlico County showed levels of bacteria exceeding the state and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality swimming standards.

The alert affects waters at the public beach located on the south side of Dawson Creek Bridge in Janerio. Samples collected yesterday show test results of 324 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, which exceeds the state and federal single-sample standard of 276 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 2 low usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.

State officials will test the site again today, and the results of the sampling will dictate further action. If the new samples also show elevated bacteria counts, state officials will post a swimming advisory sign and issue a swimming advisory.

The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws.

Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

State officials sample 240 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.

To find out more about North Carolina’s beach water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program website at:http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Water quality swimming alert lifted for sound-side site in Pamlico County

MOREHEAD CITY – State recreational water quality officials today lifted a water quality swimming alert at a sound-side site in Pamlico County.

Subsequent sampling of the site shows that bacteria levels have dropped below the state and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards set for swimming and water play.

The alert affected waters at the public beach located on the south side of Dawson Creek Bridge in Janerio. Test results taken on Monday, showed the site had exceeded the single-sample maximum standard of 276 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water for a low usage site. Subsequent testing on Tuesday showed the bacteria level has dropped below the state and EPA recreational swimming standard.

Enterococcus, the organism used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness itself, scientific studies indicate that its presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.

Coastal recreational waters in North Carolina are generally clean. However, it is important to continue monitoring them, so the public can be informed of any localized problems. 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.

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