recreational water quality officials alerted the public on Tuesday that
initial testing at an ocean-side site near the Cape Hatteras lighthouse
showed levels of bacteria exceeding the state’s and Environmental
Protection Agency’s recreational water quality swimming standards.
alert is for waters at the public beach access at Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse in Buxton. Test results of water samples collected on Monday
show bacteria levels of 124 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water,
which exceeds the state and federal single-sample standard of 104
enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high-usage sites. (Swimming
areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as
This alert is not a beach closing, nor is the alert for the entire Hatteras Island area.
officials will test the site again today, and the results of the
sampling will dictate further action. If the new samples also show
elevated bacteria counts, state officials will post a swimming advisory
sign and issue a swimming advisory.
N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at ocean
and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws.
officials sample 209 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.