Swimming Advisories Lifted for All Ocean and Bay Beaches in Virginia Beach

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health has lifted all swimming and wading advisories that were issued Sept. 10 for parts of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach. Lab results show bacteria levels in the water meet the State Water Quality Standards.  

Signs have been removed that previously alerted the public to the advisory.

 

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health issued the swimming advisories to protect public health following an abnormally high bacteria level reading. The sampling levels have returned to an acceptable bacteria level and it is now safe for residents and visitors to enter the entire Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach.

 

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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