State officials have lifted a swimming alert for a site in Brunswick County after water samples indicated bacteria levels have dropped below state and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.
The alert was for waters at the public access on the east end of Holden Beach.
Test results collected Thursday showed bacteria levels of 150 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, which exceeded 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 tiers.
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.
State officials sample 204 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.