On Wednesday, July 25, the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries issued a precautionary swimming advisory for Dare and Currituck Counties due to high rainfall and flooding from recent storms that may lead to excessive bacteria in the water.
“Waters impacted by these storms can contain elevated levels of bacteria that can make people sick,” said J.D. Potts, manager of the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program. “Floodwaters and stormwater runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.”
Since the impacts are likely widespread, it is not possible to post signs in all areas. The public should avoid swimming in coastal waters in and around Dare and Currituck counties until bacteriological testing indicates bacteria levels fall within the state’s and the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.
This precautionary advisory should be taken into consideration when planning to swim in coastal waters until the advisory is rescinded. The precautionary advisory will be lifted in part or in whole as test results become available.