A swimming advisory was posted on Tuesday, Aug. 26, in Banks Channel south of the United States Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach where state recreational water quality officials found bacteria levels in the water exceeding North Carolina Department of Energy and Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.
Test results indicate a running monthly average of 47 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. This exceeds the state and federal standards of a running monthly average of 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters, based on five samples taken within a 30-day period.
Enterococci, the name for the group of bacteria used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While the bacteria group’s presence does not cause illness itself, scientific studies indicate that the presence of enterococci is closely correlated to the presence of other organisms that may cause illness. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.
This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Wrightsville Beach area. Swimming advisories affect water within 200 feet of the sign.