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The original item was published from 5/15/2019 3:50:00 PM to 5/16/2019 3:24:09 PM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: May 15, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Health Department issues swimming advisory for part of Buckroe Beach

swimming advisory sign

May 15, 2019 – The Health Department has issued a swimming advisory for a portion of Buckroe Beach due to levels of bacteria levels that exceed the state water quality standards for swimming. The advisory covers the area between Point Comfort and Tappan avenues; samples taken north and south of that area were within standards.

An advisory doesn’t close the water to swimmers — it just warns people that they face an elevated risk. The risk is especially elevated for children, who are more likely to swallow the water, or those who have open wounds or weakened immune systems.

Water samples are sent to labs to detect Enterococci in salt water. While these organisms themselves do not cause illness, their presence is an indicator that there is fecal contamination and other harder-to-detect bacteria are present. The Environmental Protection Agency standard sets the unacceptable level at the point where people show a greater incidence of illness.

When the city is notified of contaminated water, officials begin looking for a cause. Most commonly, bacteria levels can increase after heavy rains, when sewer or wastewater systems could become overwhelmed and have overflows. Bacteria also could be caused by a leak in one of the systems.

Officials will continue to test the water and the public will be notified when the advisory is lifted.

Read about the water testing program
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