NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - DHEC have lifted its restrictions on one part of North MYrtle Beach and added another after testing the bacteria levels in the water.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control in South Carolina reported Wednesday that one area in the North Strand have been placed on alert. That portion of the nine miles of beach in the North Strand is now safe for swimming, but another is under watch.
"Water samples indicate bacteria amounts in the ocean at 33rd Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach have returned to acceptable levels," said Sean Torrens of DHEC's Region 6 Environmental Quality Control office, which serves Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties. "High bacteria levels have been detected in the water at 16th Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach. Swimming is not advised within 200 feet of that point until bacteria levels return to normal."
Though that small part of the beach has been placed under the swimming advisory, it is safe to wade, collect shells and fish, Torrens says.
"To guard against the possibility of swallowing the water, it's best if people don't put their head under water," Torrens said. "People with open cuts or other wounds should also avoid contact with the water."
Pat Dowling, spokesman for the City of North Myrtle Beach says there are nine miles of beaches, and this advisory only affects that small portion of the North Myrtle Beach sands.
To learn more about beach water quality, you can call DHEC's Region 6 EQC office at 843-846-1030 or visit DHEC's beach monitoring web page.