Swimmers and surfers are on notice, potentially polluted rainwater from Oak Island streets and neighborhoods is being pumped to the ocean.
State recreational water quality officials announced the advisory late Friday, noting that beachgoers should be aware and surfers and swimmers should avoid the outfall site.
Officials with the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program said the stormwater was being pumped to minimize flood damage and to ensure roads are accessible by emergency vehicles. The town said the floodwater was being pumped to an ocean outfall near Crowell Street.
Pollutants can include waste from wildlife and pets, oil and gasoline from parking lots and waste from septic systems or sewers, officials said.
But officials also noted that the notice is no guarantee disease-causing organisms are in the water. They said the advisory is to caution beachgoers of an increased risk of contamination that can cause adverse health effects.
Town officials are to place signs at the discharge site and remove the signs 24 hours after the pumping stops. State officials said they would notify the public after the signs are removed.
Officials with the state Recreational Water Quality Program sample 215 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis, from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when the waters are colder.