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Swimming advisory issued for portion of Banks Channel

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:45 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - An advisory against swimming at a sound-side site in Wrightsville Beach was issued Thursday after state recreational water quality officials found bacteria levels in the water exceeded the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.

The advisory is located in Banks Channel at the public access just south of the Coast Guard Station.

According to officials, test results of water samples from the site indicate a running monthly average of 37 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. The state and federal standard is a running monthly average of 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters, based on five samples taken within a 30-day period.

“Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals,” a news release states. “While it is not known to cause illness, scientific studies show 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.

“State officials will continue testing the site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.”

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