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Bacteria Levels High at 2 NC Water Accesses

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Recreational Water Advisory Status Public Map.

Updated Friday: State recreational water quality officials lifted Friday the water quality swimming alert for the Newport River public access northwest of U.S. 70 high-rise bridge in Morehead City, Carteret County, and the a water quality swimming advisory at the public beach access at the ocean pier at end of K. Avenue in Kure Beach.
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State recreational water quality officials found bacteria levels in water at two public accesses exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.

An advisory against swimming was posted Thursday at the public beach access at the ocean pier at end of K Avenue in Kure Beach, where tests of water samples taken Wednesday indicate bacteria levels that exceed the state and federal action levels of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high-usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.

This advisory is not a beach closing and only affects water within 200 feet of the sign. The state will continue to test and remove the sign as well as notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.

Officials also alerted the public on Thursday that samples collected Wednesday at the Newport River public access northwest of U.S. 70 high-rise bridge in Morehead City 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.

People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the action level have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

State recreational water quality officials sample 210 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 state Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website, view a map of the testing sites, and follow the program’s Twitter feed.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.