NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Peninsula Health District has lifted the swimming advisories that were issued for Hilton and Huntington Beaches in Newport News.
Samples collected on Tuesday showed that bacteria levels in the water both beaches exceeded the state water quality standard. The advisories were issued on Wednesday and lifted on Thursday, with health officials saying the beaches’ bacterial levels now meet 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.
Enterococci are a group of organisms used to determine the amount of fecal contamination of recreation water. They do not cause illness, but research shows when enterococci are present, other disease-causing organisms may be as well.
People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standard have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.
Health officials sample Hilton, Huntington, Yorktown, King-Lincoln and Anderson Beaches on a weekly basis during the swimming season from May-September.
Beachgoers 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.