NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Swimming advisories were issued Wednesday for a handful of beaches across Hampton Roads including for Hilton, King Lincoln, and Anderson beaches in the City of Newport News, Buckroe Beach in Hampton, and Chic's Beach in Virginia Beach after high levels of bacteria were tested.
On Thursday, all of the advisories were lifted.
Samples of the water were collected on July 9 at the Newport News beaches by the Peninsula Health District showed that bacteria levels in the water exceeded the state water quality standard.
Recreational waters are routinely tested for bacteria during the summer swimming season. Officials use 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 these organisms 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.
Signs have been posted around the beaches impacted by the advisory. Once the advisory is lifted, so will the signs.
Additional samples were collected by health officials in Newport News on Wednesday and results should be available on Thursday. Health officials will remove the signs and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels that meet the state water quality standards.
“We encourage the public to protect their health by complying with this advisory,” said Gary Hagy, Environmental Health Manager of the Peninsula Health District. “Typically, an advisory of this nature is temporary and will be withdrawn once the bacteria levels have returned to a safe level.”
Click here for the results of the water quality testing and all other samplings.