Water quality swimming advisory issued for ocean-side site in Brunswick County

(Photo: WWAY)

HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) — An advisory against swimming was posted today at an ocean-side site in Brunswick County, where state recreational water quality officials found bacteria levels in the water that exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.

The advisory is for an area in Holden Beach at the public beach access at the end of Jordan Boulevard, where test results of water samples indicate a running monthly average of 37 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. This exceeds the state and federal standards of a running monthly average of 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters, based on five samples taken within a 30-day period.

Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it is not known to cause illness, scientific studies show 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.

This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Holden Beach area. Swimming advisories are for waters within 200 feet of the posted sign.

State officials say they will continue testing the site, and will remove the sign and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.

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