State Issues Swimming Advisory For Section of Pantego Creek In Beaufort County

A swimming advisory has been issued by the NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources for a body of water in the east.

Officials have advised against swimming at the public access to Pantego Creek at the intersection of East Main and Tooley Streets in Belhaven.

Water tests indicate a running monthly average of 39.1 enterococci per 100 milliliters per water for high usage sites, according to officials. This exceeds the state and federal standards of a running monthly average of 25 enterococci per 100 milliliters, based on 5 samples taken within a 30-day period.

Enterococci are found in the intestines of warm blooded animals. While the bacteria group's presence does not cause illness itself, scientific studies indicate that the presence of enterococci is closely correlated to the presence of other organisms that may cause illness. 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 Belhaven area. Swimming advisories affect water within 200 feet of the posteda warning sign.

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