Water quality officials Wednesday advised against swimming at a soundside site in Dare County because bacteria levels in the water exceeded the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.
The advisory is for the Sandy Bay soundside access near Frisco along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The water was tested Monday and Tuesday.
This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Frisco area. Swimming advisories are for waters within 200 feet of the sign.
State officials said they will continue testing the site. The sign will be removed and the public will be notified when bacteria levels decrease below the standards.
The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at 215 ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws. Most sites are tested weekly from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule when the waters are colder.
Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not 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 action level have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.
For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program or to a view a map of testing sites, visit the program’s website, and follow the program’s Twitter feed.