Sound Rivers to alert the public about waterways with excessive amounts of bacteria ahead of summer

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 8:14 PM EDT
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -The Sound Rivers Swim Guide Program starts this week to tell the public what waterways may have high levels of bacteria.

Sound Rivers collects a water sample, puts it in a cooler, and takes it back to the lab.

According to the Lower Neuse Riverkeeper, Katy Hunt, when the samples arrive at the lab, a substance or a reagent is put into the water.

“I put it in the incubator for 24 hours and then once that’s done, I use a black light to test the E-coli bacterium,” said Swim Guide Intern for the Lower Neuse, Nathalie Uriarte-Ayala.

Upon examination, “That reagent will glow or under a black light, telling us if the sample is positive or not,” Hunt said.

Hunt explained they test for E. coli specifically because too much of it can cause stomach or intestine infections. “They can be mild or severe depending on how much they came in contact with.”

Sound Rivers says they will release results to the public starting this Friday and every Friday through Labor Day Weekend.

People can find results on their website, social media accounts or through text alerts.

To get results in a text message each week, text “SWIM” to 33222, to have results sent in Spanish text “NADAR” to 33222.

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