Swimming advisories lifted for three Newport News beaches

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Peninsula Health District issued swimming advisories for three beaches in Newport News Wednesday.

Health officials say samples collected on Tuesday showed bacteria results after testing at Anderson Park, King Lincoln Park and Hilton Beaches exceeded the state water quality standard.

On Thursday the advisories were lifted after re-sampling showed bacteria levels met safe standards.

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.

Signs reading, “Warning swimmers – bacteria levels do not meet state water quality standards, swimming not advised until further notice” were posted at the beaches alerting the public of the advisory. The signs have been removed.

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.

“We encourage the public to protect their health by complying with this advisory,” said Gary Hagy, Environmental Health Manager of the Peninsula Health.

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