State lifts swimming advisories except for Colington Harbour, Jockey’s Ridge soundside sites

The soundside access at Jockey's Ridge State Park remains under an advisory. [image courtesy WRAL-TV]

The precautionary advisory against swimming has been lifted for all North Carolina coastal waters, except for soundside sites in Colington Harbour and at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

Test results of water samples taken from Nags Head to Corolla show bacterial levels that meet the state and Environmental Protection Agency standards for swimming and other contact with the water.

The advisory was previously lifted for all coastal waters south of Oregon Inlet earlier this week.

The precautionary advisory against swimming remains in effect for the Colington Harbour swimming beach. Access to this area remains closed and state officials have been unable to collect a water sample to test for bacteria levels.

Additionally, an advisory sign was posted today at the Jockey’s Ridge Soundside Access in Nags Head, where test results of water samples from the site show a running monthly average that exceeds the state and Environmental Protection Agency standard for swimming and other water contact.

State officials will continue testing this site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standard.

The precautionary advisory was issued Sept. 3 as Hurricane Dorian approached the North Carolina coast because excessive rains and flooding can cause high levels of bacteria in the water that can make people sick. Floodwaters and storm water runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.

Recreational water quality officials sample 209 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when waters are colder.

For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at: or on @ncrecprgm

About Sam Walker 1512 Articles
Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.