NC Division of Marine Fisheries

MOREHEAD CITY — An advisory against swimming was posted Tuesday at a soundside site in Carteret County where state recreational water quality officials found bacteria levels that exceed the state’s and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational standards.

The advisory is for an area at the public access to Bogue Sound at Sunset Drive in Morehead City. Test results of water samples indicate a running monthly average of 40 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water. This exceeds the state and federal standards of a running monthly average of 35 enterococci per 100 milliliters, based on five samples taken within a 30-day period.

The advisory issued for the public access to Bogue Sound at 16th Street in Morehead City July 7 remains in effect.

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

This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Morehead City area. Swimming advisories are for waters within 200 feet of the sign.

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

Recreational water quality officials sample 213 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 fewer people are in the water.

(8) comments

the secret life of man

Our neighborhood will try to purchase a recirculation box to ease the pollution from the splashpad at 16th st

the secret life of man

Its expensive,we have no other choices.

David Collins

You mean a splash pad discharge purification device ? Wish you luck with that idea .

the secret life of man

Thank you Mr.Collins


Well depending on volume of discharge, a simple grease trap or transfer box with a calculated drip of chlorine would not be too expensive. Getting approval for such a rig might be another story. The bacteria they test for as an indicator of possibly other dangerous bacteria is present in all mammals. Are we sure its the splash pad at fault as compared to say a failing septic system(s) nearby?

the secret life of man

The volume of water according to manufacturer is 114 gpm max for the 2400 sqft splashpad.


To visualize that, it is 125 55 gal drums of water per hour, that is quite a bit of water and far above what a chlorine drip would treat, that leaves the source of contamination? full diapers? raccoon poop? to get to the threshold of contamination, especially diluted in the sound that pad would have to be covered in obviously visible waste wouldn't it?

I don't know enough about it to make intelligent guesses, but if that area near the splash pad consistently is closed due to contamination, that seems like a good project for the county health dept to determine the actual source of the contamination and rectify it. If it is the splash pad then your previous suggestion to pipe it into the sewer rather then the sound seems logical.

the secret life of man

Thank you Drewski,we, guestimated 20 gallons per minute.

Welcome to the discussion.

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