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The original item was published from 6/13/2018 4:32:00 PM to 6/21/2018 12:05:02 AM.

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Parks & Recreation

Posted on: June 13, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Swimming advisory issued for Outlook Beach at Fort Monroe by Health Department

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June 13, 2018 - The Hampton Health Department has issued a swimming advisory for Outlook Beach at Fort Monroe. Beach water samples collected on Tuesday showed that bacteria levels in the water exceeded the State Water Quality Standards. 

Beaches along three sections of Buckroe Beach and Salt Ponds tested within the acceptable range. Recreational waters are monitored for bacteria weekly. 

Health officials are posting signs at the beaches alerting the public of the advisory. The signs read: “Warning swimmers - bacteria levels do not meet state water quality standards, swimming not advised until further notice.” They will continue testing the site, and they will remove the warning signs and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels that meet the standard. 

An advisory doesn’t close the water to swimmers – it just warns you that you face elevated risk. The risk is especially elevated for children, who are more likely to swallowthe water, or those who have open wounds or weakened immune systems.

Enterococci are a group of organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination of recreational waters. While they do not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that their presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standard have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.

When the city is notified of contaminated water, officials begin looking for a cause. Most commonly, bacteria levels can increase after a major storm, when sewer or wastewater systems could become overwhelmed and have overflows. Bacteria also could be caused by a leak in one of the systems.

Updated advisory information
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