Update 9 a.m. Oct. 1 with information on New Hanover County and Ocracoke Island
MOREHEAD CITY – State officials lifted Monday precautionary advisories for ocean swimming sites in New Hanover County and Ocracoke Island.
The precautionary advisory put in place Sept. 11 was lifted Friday for some ocean waters in Carteret, Pender and Onslow counties.
Bacteria levels at most ocean swimming sites in Carteret, Pender and Onslow counties as well as New Hanover County and Ocracoke Island met state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming and other contact with the water, according to the announcements from the Recreational Water Quality Program. Water samples were taken at ocean swimming sites on Bogue Banks, Topsail Island, Fort Fisher State Park through Wrightsville Beach and all established swimming sites on Ocracoke Island.
A precautionary advisory remains in effect for mainland Hyde County. A swimming alert remains in effect for coastal rivers and sounds south of Ocracoke Island, ocean waters in Brunswick County, and the public beach access just west of the junction of Coast Guard Road and Inlet Drive in Emerald Isle.
Excessive rains and flooding cause floodwaters and stormwater runoff that can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals, the programs warned in the release. the high levels of bacteria can cause illness.
Residents and visitors, including fishermen, who cannot avoid contacting these waters should exercise caution, limit wound exposure, and thoroughly wash their hands.
The program will continue testing in other coastal counties still under advisory. Because waters affected by the storm are so widespread, signs are not posted.