Thursday, June 20, 2024

Swimming advisory in effect for Banks Channel in Wrightsville Beach

The Department of Environmental Quality has issued four swim alerts in Wrightsville Beach along the sound-side of Banks Channel after water samples indicate fecal bacteria levels that exceed state and federal standards. (Port City Daily graphic/Benjamin Schachtman)
The Department of Environmental Quality has issued a swimming advisory in Wrightsville Beach along the sound-side of Banks Channel after water samples indicate fecal bacteria levels that exceed state and federal standards. (Port City Daily/file)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — An advisory has been released for a sound-side site in New Hanover County where bacteria levels were found to exceed state and federal standards.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Enivronmental Protection Agency are advising against swimming at the public access to Banks Channel, at the corner of Waynick Boulevard and Sunset Avenue in Wrightsville Beach.

Test results of the water indicate a running monthly average of 37 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, based on five samples taken within a 30l-day period. The levels exceed safe standards, which are considered 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water.

Enterococci are bacteria found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals and studies show its presence could indicate other disease-causing organisms are present as well. While not known to cause illness, enterococci can increase the risk of developing gastrointestinal illness and skin infections for anyone swimming in the water with high levels.

According to the press release, the advisory is not an indication the beach is closed and does not affect the entirety of Wrightsville Beach. Swimming advisories pertain to waters within 200 feet of the sign reading:

ATTENTION

SWIMMING IN THIS AREA IS NOT RECOMMENDED. BACTERIA TESTING INDICATES

LEVELS OF CONTAMINATION THAT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
HEALTH. THIS ADVISORY AFFECTS WATERS WITHIN 200’ OF THIS SIGN.

State officials will continue testing the site and will update the public when bacteria levels decrease below the standards.


Have comments or tips? Email info@portcitydaily.com.

Want to read more from PCD? Subscribe now and then sign up for our newsletter, Wilmington Wire, and get the headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.

Related Articles