Swimming advisory issued for section of North Myrtle Beach due to higher bacteria

6/7 update: DHEC has lifted the swimming advisory.

Swimmers are advised to stay out of the water near a section of North Myrtle Beach due to abnormal bacteria levels, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

A short-term swimming advisory has been issued for water at the public access point at 17th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach, according to a press release from DHEC. According to DHEC, bacteria levels above state and federal standards have been detected in that area of water, and swimming is not advised until bacteria levels return to normal.

According to DHEC, short-term swimming advisories typically last a few days and are lifted when additional tests show the bacteria levels have returned to normal. The swimming advisory does not mean the beach is closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire beach, the release states.

While swimmers should avoid the ocean, DHEC said it’s safe to wade, collect shells and fish within the swimming advisory areas. It’s advised that people entering the water in these areas refrain from swallowing it, and that people with open wounds or compromised immune systems avoid contact with water, the release states.

DHEC routinely collects water samples along South Carolina’s beaches to monitor bacteria levels.

For more information, residents can call DHEC at 843-238-4378.