Floodwater pumping leads to precautionary swimming advisory on Oak Island

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — A precautionary swimming advisory has been issued for Oak Island. The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program has advised beachgoers to avoid certain areas of swimming where floodwaters are being pumped into the ocean surf.

Recent rains and storms have allowed buildup of potentially polluted water in certain areas on the island and in communities nearby, according to a press release. The Town of Oak Island is pumping floodwater from Crowell Street into the ocean as to allow emergency vehicles to pass through.

The state’s water quality division forewarns the floodwater may contain waste from sewers, pets or other wildlife, as well as oil and gasoline that could have spilled in parking lots.


“This notice does not imply that disease-causing organisms are present in the water,” a press release clarifies. “It is meant to caution beachgoers of an increased risk of contamination that can cause adverse health effects.” 

Signs will be erected near discharge sites to warn beachgoers of potential health risks, which then will be removed 24 hours after pumping stops. 

Officials will continue to sample water, including around 213 sites in the southeastern coastal region. Samples are taken weekly, April to October, and lessen during winter months when waters are colder. 

More information can be found here.


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