Swimming Advisory Issued for Two Areas: Along the Bay from Little Creek to Fort Story and along the Oceanfront from 8th to 22nd Streets

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Virginia Beach Health Department has issued two swimming and wading advisories today for two sections:

  • along the Bay from Little Creek to Fort Story and
  • along the Oceanfront from 8th to 22nd streets.

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. 

Signs will be posted on the beach between to alert the public of the swimming and wading advisory. The signs will read: 


Bacteria levels do not meet state water quality standards

Swimming and wading are prohibited until further notice 

Virginia Beach has conducted these tests since the mid-1970s. Health officials will continue testing the site until the water quality meets the state water quality standards.  When the sampling test results meet the standards, the signs will be removed.

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, contact Brad Delashmutt, Virginia Beach Health Department, at (757) 518-2727.

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