Swimming advisory issued for section of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 17:21:23-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Department of Health issued a swimming advisory for a section of Sandbridge Beath after recent testing indicated that bacteria levels do not meet state water quality standards.

Swimming and wading will be prohibited between Chubb Lane and Porters Island Road until further notice. Signs will be posted on the beach in the affected areas to alert the public of the swimming and wading advisory.

Health officials will continue testing the site until results meet the state water quality standards.

Recreational waters are monitored weekly for bacteria using indicator organisms such as enterococcus, the indicator of choice in estuarine and marine waters. Enterococci are a group of organisms used to determine the extent of the fecal contamination of recreational waters. While they 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, as well as skin, eye and respiratory infections.

"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 The advisory will be withdrawn once the bacteria levels have returned to safe levels."