NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Department of Public Health have lifted a swimming advisory for Sarah Constant Beach and Ocean View Park Beach in Norfolk.
Water testing revealed enterococci bacteria levels at these locations previously exceed state water quality standards.
Signs were posted 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”.
Recreational waters are monitored for bacteria routinely during the summer swimming season, 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. 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.