Swimming advisory lifted for 2 Newport News beaches, still in effect for a third

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Posted at 3:56 PM, Sep 01, 2021

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Peninsula Health District has lifted the swimming advisory for Huntington Park and King-Lincoln Park Beaches Thursday.

Samples collected on August 31 by the Peninsula Health District showed that bacteria levels in the water exceeded the state water quality standard.

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.

The advisory is still in effect for Hilton Beach.

Signs are posted at Hilton Beach alerting the public of the advisory. They read: “Warning swimmers - bacteria levels do not meet state water quality standards, swimming not advised until further notice”.

Health officials will remove the signs and notify the public again when the bacteria levels at Hilton Beach decrease to levels that meet the state water quality standards.

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.

Environmental health officials sample Hilton, Huntington, Yorktown, King-Lincoln Park and Anderson Beaches on a weekly basis during the swimming season from May to September.

Residents are reminded to observe the following guidelines as they enjoy the summer swimming season:

  • Do not swim in water that looks stagnant, muddy or smells unpleasant.
  • Avoid swallowing river, stream, lake or other recreational water.
  • Prevent direct contact between broken skin and recreational water.
  • Avoid swimming in natural water bodies (rivers, streams, lakes, etc.) for several days after a heavy rainfall.