State advisory against swimming in ocean, sounds still in effect north of Oregon Inlet

A popular soundside swimming spot is the beach along the Roanoke Sound at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. [Friends of Jockey’s Ridge photo]

State officials still say it is not safe to swim in the ocean and sounds from Oregon Inlet to the state line, but the advisory has been lifted along Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

The precautionary advisory against swimming remains in effect for all ocean and soundside sites in most of Dare County and all of Currituck County.

State officials collected water samples in those areas on Tuesday and test results are not yet final, according to a press release.

Test results of water samples taken from the waters south of Oregon Inlet show bacterial levels that meet the state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming and other contact with the water.

Earlier tests of water samples collected in these areas showed levels of bacteria that exceed the state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming and other contact with the water.

Residents and visitors, including fishermen, who cannot avoid contacting those waters should exercise caution, limit wound exposure, and thoroughly wash their hands.

The precautionary advisory was issued Sept. 3 as Hurricane Dorian approached the North Carolina coast because excessive rains and flooding can cause high levels of bacteria in the water that can make people sick. Floodwaters and storm water runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.

Recreational water quality officials sample 209 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 waters are colder.

For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter @ncrecprgm

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.