COLUMBIA, S.C. ̶ A section of beach along South Carolina’s coast has been placed under a short-term swimming advisory, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reports today.
The advisory is for water at the public access points at 16th Avenue North and 17th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach. This swimming advisory is not a beach closing, nor does this advisory affect the entire beach.
Bacteria levels that are above state and federal standards have been detected in this area of water, and swimming is not advised in the area until bacteria levels return to normal.
It’s safe to wade, collect shells and fish within this swimming advisory area. However, it’s advised that people entering the water in this area refrain from swallowing it, and that people with open wounds or compromised immune systems avoid contact with the water.
DHEC tests water quality along the oceanfront in accordance with federal and state laws. The water is tested for enterococci bacteria, which are naturally found in warm-blooded animals, including humans. However, high levels of enterococci bacteria in water indicates the potential risk for other organisms that may cause disease in humans, such as gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.
This advisory only affects the area noted above. Short-term swimming advisories typically last just a few days and are lifted once follow-up water sampling shows bacteria levels have returned to normal.
DHEC routinely collects water samples at more than 120 locations along South Carolina’s beaches to monitor bacteria levels. Please visit scdhec.gov/BeachMonitoring for more information and to view recent water sampling results along the coast.
For more information, call your local DHEC office: