High levels of bacteria possible along beaches

Dirty water at local beaches

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Rain has been pelting much of the Carolina coast for days, so on Wednesday when there was a significant break from showers families rushed to get into the water.

Jeanie Pugliese and her family from Scranton, Pennsylvania were in Myrtle Beach testing the water.

Pugliese said before she reached the beach though she noticed a sign at several beach access points along Ocean Blvd stating due to storm water run off there could be high levels of bacteria in the water.

"We were nervous about that we checked a couple of places, but they all say it, " explained Pugliese.

All the rain causes chemicals along the street to be pulled into drains and pipes which could filter into the ocean.

Sergeant Phillip Cain with the Myrtle Beach Police force has advice for those hitting the beaches in the next few days. "If there are outfalls pipe don't swim in front of it, and if the water is pulling up in front of the outfall don't swim in that pool of water."

Sergeant Cain said DHEC leaders usually test the water in front of the pipes after heavy rainfall to estimate the amount of bacteria in case a portion of the beach would need to be shut down from visitors.

Lynette Miller is visiting the Grand Strand from Atlanta, Georgia, and she said she will be staying away from the ocean water. "You never know what's out there. I prefer the pool over the beach as far as swimming in it."

Just a little more than a week ago the National Resources Defense Council labeled Grand Strand beaches as some of the dirtiest in the nation.

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