Swimming Advisories Partially Lifted on Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health has partially lifted swimming and wading advisories that were issued yesterday for sections of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay.

New water tests show bacteria levels are once again safe in some areas that had advisories yesterday:


  • Atlantic Ocean: The advisory is lifted from Aqua Lane in Croatan to the Navy’s Dam Neck Annex. The advisory remains in effect from 8th Street at the resort to Aqua Lane.
  • Chesapeake Bay: The advisory is lifted from Wake Forest Street (east of Great Neck Road) to Fort Story. The advisory remains in effect from Wake Forest Street to Ocean View Avenue in Chesapeake Beach.

Ocean and bay water was re-tested today and results will be available tomorrow.


The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health issued the swimming advisories yesterday to protect public health following abnormally high bacteria level readings. Recreational waters are monitored for bacteria using indicator organisms such as enterococci, the indicator of choice for estuarine and marine waters. Enterococci are a group of organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination of recreational waters. 


While Enterococci do not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that their presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming

or wading in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standard have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness and skin, eye and respiratory infections.


Environmental health officials sample recreational beach water on a weekly basis during the swimming season from May through September. 


For additional information on beaches, contact the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health at (757) 518-2646.


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