HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WECT) - State recreational water quality officials on Friday lifted a water quality swimming alert at an ocean-side site in Holden Beach.
Due to high levels of bacteria, the alert had been issued at the public access at the east end of McCray Street.
Samples collected Wednesday showed test results of 137 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.
Subsequent testing on Thursday showed bacteria levels have dropped below the state's and the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for swimming.
Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it is not known to 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.