Local public beach under swimming advisory, water testing underway

BELHAVEN, N.C. (WNCT) – Summertime means beach time. One local public beach is under a swimming advisory until further notice.

9 On Your Side went along with officials as they retested the water.

Enterocci isn’t easy to say, but it could easily make you, or your children sick.

“The bacteria that we are looking for is an indicator of fecal contamination and that fecal contamination could be from human animal or birds,” said J.D. Potts, with the Recreational Water Quality Program.

And they found an elevated level of it at the Pantego Creek Beach Access in Belhaven, resulting in a swimming advisory. Potts said swimming in the water could cause illness.

“Flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis, is probably the more common symptoms that a person will have,” Potts added. “It’s more of a risk probably for children because they keep their heads under the water longer than an adult would.”

Nicole Berry, a Belhaven resident, and her family love their little beach get-away.

“I take my kids down to the play ground down there and they walk on the beach sometimes. Sometimes they stick their feet in the water,” said Berry, who said the advisory won’t change her family’s regular routine when it comes to getting in the water. “Most of the time, I just tell them not to cause I just feel funny about that beach anyway.”

The sample is off to the lab and results will return in 24 hours.

Recreational water quality officials test waters weekly during the summer season. The last test for this beach in the season will be in September.

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