NORFOLK, VA – The Norfolk Department of Public Health issued a Swimming Advisory for Sarah Constant Beach. Water testing conducted yesterday revealed enterococci bacteria levels at this site exceeding State Water Quality Standards. Signs are posted to alert the public of this advisory. Health officials will continue testing beach water and will remove posted signs and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to meet state standards.
The Environmental Health Division of the Norfolk Department of Public Health samples Ocean View beach water on a weekly basis, during the swimming season, from late-May through the end of September. Enterococci bacteria are a group of indicator organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination in recreational waters.
While enterococci bacteria do not generally cause illness, scientific studies indicate that their presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the state standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.
For further information, call the Environmental Health Division, Norfolk Department of Public Health, at 757-683-2712. For information about the Virginia Department of Health’s Beach Monitoring Program, current swimming advisory maps, and helpful tips about recreational water safety, please visit: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/beach-monitoring/