Update 2:35 p.m. Aug. 15: State recreational water quality officials have lifted the advisory for the sidesound site in Dare County and removed the sign advising against swimming, skiing or otherwise coming into contact with the water.
The state advises against swimming at the Sandy Bay sound-side access near Frisco, along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
A swimming advisory was posted Thursday at the sound-side site in Dare County because bacteria levels in the water exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.
Swimming advisories are for waters within 200 feet of the sign. This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Frisco area, officials said. 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.
Recreational Water Quality officials water samples taken on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 indicate bacteria levels that exceed the state and federal action levels of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 2 non-daily use sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.
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.
The North Carolina Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at 215 ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws.
State officials said they will continue testing the site. They will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.