State officials have issued a water quality alert after samples taken from a site in Topsail Beach showed bacteria levels exceeded water quality swimming standards.
Samples collected Monday from the sound-side access #S-1 at the end of Shore Line Drive in Topsail Beach were found to have bacteria levels that were more than twice that of state and federal standards.
The samples showed that there were 238 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. State and federal single-sample standard is 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.
State officials will test the site again on Tuesday to determine if further action is necessary.
Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.
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