VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A swimming advisory has been lifted for a section of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach.
According to city officials, recent testing indicated that bacteria levels along a section of the Bay did not meet state water quality standards. Swimming and wading are currently prohibited between Starfish Road and Rockbridge Road until further notice.
Signs were posted on the beach to alert everyone of the swimming and wading advisory. Sampling test results met Virginia's standards, usually typically after 24 hours, so the signs will be removed.
Recreational waters are monitored weekly for bacteria. People swimming or playing in waters with higher bacteria levels than the standard have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness and skin, eye and respiratory infections.
According to the city, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what causes each case of high bacteria levels. They do say waste from wildlife, domestic pets, storm and agricultural runoff, breaks in wastewater pipes and boat discharge can all contribute to higher levels, as well as heavy rain.
"We encourage residents and visitors to protect their health by complying with this advisory," said Brad DeLashmutt, Environmental Health Supervisor with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health. "These advisories are typically temporary and can be caused by any warm-blooded animal – from birds congregating on the beach to owners failing to clean up after their dog. The advisory will be withdrawn once the bacteria levels have returned to safe levels."
To view the results of this and all other samplings, plus tips on how to protect your health while swimming, click here..