NC beaches rank No. 3 for water quality

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — We swim in some of the cleanest waters in the country, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council. A new report shows North Carolina ranks third in the nation in water quality.

“I love it,” Kim Register said while visiting Wrightsville Beach. “I love it down here.”

North Carolina has 240 public beaches spanning more than 300 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. The water at those beaches has ranked in the top ten in the country since 2008 for water quality.

“As far as Wrightsville Beach goes, it’s very clean,” swimmer Jessica Williams said. “We enjoy coming out here.”

Last year North Carolina beaches were closed or had advisories because of water quality 91 days. That number was down from 2011.

“We have never had any problems with the water being dirty out here,” Williams said.

Swimmers can get rashes, pinkeye, stomach flu and respiratory infections from polluted water.

“No complaints from my children being sick,” Williams said.

Across the border South Carolina came in 26th of the 30 states studied.

“South Carolina, I don’t think they’re as nice,” swimmer David Peterson said the Palmetto State’s beaches.

Regardless of the standings, Peterson says you can not beat a day at the beach.

“Any beach is great if you’re near the water,” Peterson said. “You can’t beat the sand, sun and surf.”

North Carolina’s swimming season starts April 1 and goes until October 31. Samples are monitored all year around, but are less frequent during the off-season.

Delaware ranked number one on the water quality list and New Hampshire number two.

Economists estimate that a typical swimming day brings in $35 per person.

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