DHEC: Temporary swimming advisory lifted for section of Harbor Island

Lowcountry Beaches

UPDATE:

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCBD) – The advisory has been lifted as of 5:15 p.m. Thursday


ORIGINAL:

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Wednesday issued a temporary swimming advisory for a portion of the beach on Harbor Island.

The advisory impacts water at public access points between lots 118 and 1120, North Harbor Drive due to above-average bacteria levels.

DHEC says that people should avoid swallowing this water and people with open wounds or compromised immune systems should avoid the water altogether. However, DHEC says that it is still safe to “wade, collect shells, and fish” within the area.

The bacteria located in the water are enterococci bacteria, “which are naturally found in warm-blooded animals, including humans.” But, DHEC warns that “high levels of enterococci bacteria in water indicates the potential risk of other organisms that may cause disease in humans, such as gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.”

DHEC expects the swimming advisory to be lifted in a matter of days, once water samples show that bacteria levels have decreased to a safe point.

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