Three recreation sites fail final Sound Rivers Swim Guide test

WASHINGTON, North Carolina – Three sites failed the Swim Guide test this week in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse river watersheds – all were on the Neuse and Bay rivers. All Tar-Pamlico sites were clear again this week.

The three sites that have tested positive for fecal bacteria exceeding state and federal recreational water quality standards are: Midyette Street, Pierce Creek, and Rice Creek.

Swim Guide is an international water quality program run locally by Sound Rivers, an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to keeping North Carolina’s waterways fishable, swimmable, and potable.

Each week, a team of Sound Rivers volunteers collect water samples at 49 popular recreation sites along the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins, from the Raleigh-Durham region to the Strait of Pamlico. The samples are then tested for E. coli by staff at Sound Rivers, and the results are made public, providing an easy way to find out where it is safe to swim. Where this is not the case, boaters, swimmers and their pets should avoid water or exercise caution at these sites, as exposure to bacteria-laden water is accompanied by a increased risk of gastrointestinal diseases and skin infections.

Seventeen sites are tested in the Lower Neuse River basin: near Kinston – Oak Bluff Road and Kinston Boating Access Area; on the Neuse near New Bern – Core Creek at Fort Barnwell, Cowpen Landing, Spring Garden Boat Ramp, Glenburnie, Bridgeton Park, Upper Broad Creek at the Blackbeard Sailing Club; and on the Trent River – Lawson Creek Park, the East Street boat launch in Pollocksville, the River Bend kayak boat launch, Trent Woods Brice and Slocum creeks; and Rice Creek, Pierce Creek and Midyette Street in the Oriental.

Eighteen sites are tested in the Tar-Pamlico River basin: at Rocky Mount – Tar River Reservoir and Sunset Park; at River Road near Tarboro; at Greenville – Town Common, Wildwood Park, Port Terminal and Yankee Hall; in Washington – Mason’s Landing, Washington Waterfront, Havens Garden Boat Ramp, Chocowinity Bay at Cypress Landing, Swan Point, Broad Creek at Pamlico Plantation, Blounts Bay and Blounts Creek at Cotton Patch Landing; at Bath – Bonner Point and Plum Point; and Belhaven – Pungo River at Woodstock Point.

The Sound Rivers Swim Guide Program is sponsored by Grady-White Boats, Gene Pate Memorial Water Quality Monitoring Fund, UNC-Lenoir Health Care, Northwest Creek Marina, UNC Pavel Molchanov Scholars, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, Cypress Landing, ECU SECU Public Fellows Internship Foundation, Coastal Carolina Health Care, Restoration Systems, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, US Foods, and David Silberstein and Melinda Vann.

To sign up for Swim Guide notifications, go to or send “SWIM” to 33222 for weekly water quality updates. For more information on Sound Rivers, visit

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