Water advisory lifted for multiple Del. beaches

It was the perfect beach day on Wednesday, but sadly at several Delaware beaches, people weren't allowed to go into the water.

It was all because of some water advisories that were issued by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control due to high levels of bacteria in the water.

Kevin Chandler, the Chairman of the Delaware Chapter of Surfrider said, "I mean it is a potential health risk for sure."

Four beaches were under a water advisory Wednesday, including two Lewes beaches, Slaughter Beach and Broadkill Beach.

Michael Bott, an environmental scientist said, "When you have these natural beaches, or Lewes, where there still are larger wildlife shorebird populations, it is part of the natural system and it becomes these higher levels once we have these large storms or heavy rainfall particularly."

Environmental scientists say in addition to the higher levels of bacteria being caused by migratory birds and horseshoe crabs, the heavy rain we experienced this past weekend played a significant roll as well.

Bott said, "So when we have these storms coupled with very heavy rainfall its not uncommon to have these occur along Delaware bay beaches."

The bacteria present in the water is called enterococci, which is one of the several indicator organisms that signals the presence of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.

Bott said, "The bacteria we're testing for does not, is not, what would make somebody sick. It just indicates there are higher levels of fecal indicator bacteria and that's why we put the advisory up. It's more just to put a caution out there we want to put that information out there so people can make an educated decision of if they want to swim or not."

Lewes locals say they understand and appreciate their city alerting swimmers of the danger.

Kevin Chandler said, "The high levels of bacteria obviously, you know, after our significant rain event and high surf was the cause of it. They are being responsible, the City of Lewes is being responsible by making these postings and enforcing the no swimming."

The water advisories at Delaware beaches have expired so if you want, and if you can handle the cold water, go ahead and make your way on over to the beach, and keep your eye out for any future water advisories after any heavy storms.

If you want to know more about the current water quality of your beach, you can call the Delaware recreational hotline which is 1-800-922-WAVE. 

You can also look for the Delaware recreational water program website, where all the monitoring data is posted here: http://apps.dnrec.state.de.us/recwater/

Categories: Delaware, Local News

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