Water samples collected at sites in Beaufort, Craven and Pamlico counties last week have come back with elevated levels of E. coli and other bacteria.
According to weekly water testing results from Sound Rivers, levels exceeding state and federal standards were detected in Bath Creek at Bonner Point, Broad Creek at Pamlico River, the Pamlico River at Swan Point, Trent River at River Bend and Pungo River at Woodstock Point. Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper with Sound Rivers Forrest English said fecal contamination from sewage or agricultural operations is most likely the cause of elevated levels of E. coli bacteria.
“This last week was I think the highest week we’ve seen this summer. Those samples were at the detection limit so we were seeing levels that are, I would call quite high.”
English said rainfall this week could raise E. coli levels even more. He urges people to avoid swimming in affected areas as E. coli can result in gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.