MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Health officials issued a swimming advisory Monday for the Jockey’s Ridge soundside access in Nags Head.
Bacteria levels of enterococci found in the water exceed the state’s water quality standards.
Health officials say enterococci bacteria are indicator organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination in recreational waters. Though enterococci bacteria do not cause illness, health officials say scientific studies suggest that their presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in water with bacteria levels higher than the state standards are more likely to develop gastrointestinal illness.
A sign is posted at the site to alert visitors that swimming is not recommended.
The advisory does not affect the entire Nags Head area.
Water at 204 sites throughout the coastal region is sampled on a weekly basis from April to October. State officials will continue testing at the site and the sign will be removed once bacteria levels decrease below state standards.