MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Natural Resources Defense Council has found the beaches in Horry County to have contaminated water, according to a recent report.
Myrtle Beach had the third highest percentage of contaminated tests, according the NRDC. Twenty-three percent of the samples found in Myrtle Beach were worse than the national standard. South Carolina ranked 24 out of 30 states in beach water quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency threshold, called a "beach action value," is the most protective benchmark for assessing swimming safety, the report says.
According to the report, the beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates of the BAV in South Carolina in 2013 were Briarcliff Acres Beach with 45 percent, Horry County Beaches South Carolina Campgrounds with 32 percent, Myrtle Beach showing 23 percent, Arcadia Beach with a 20 percent rate, North Myrtle Beach has a 15 percent rate, and Surfside Beach with a 15 percent rate. All were in Horry County.
Samples were tested at the following beaches:
To view a copy of the full report, visit Testing the Water 2014.
In a response to the report, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber President and CEO Brad Dean issued the following statement:
"We know our beaches are healthy and suitable for all visitors to the Myrtle Beach area. The testing of our ocean water by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is very important and helpful in ensuring the cleanliness of our beaches. On the other hand, the NRDC's alarmist approach exhibits inconsistent and unreliable tendencies, which leads to sensationalized findings. It is true that storm water runoff can occasionally boost test levels higher than normal, but it is for limited sites for a limited amount of time. The Grand Strand's beaches are clean, safe and here for the enjoyment of both our visitors and our residents."
The monitoring season in South Carolina runs from May 15 to October 15.