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:
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.
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