Tar River

Swim Guide alerts inform the public where it’s safe to swim from Memorial Day to Labor Day on the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins.

Eight sites in the Tar-Pamlico watershed were classified as possibly unsafe for swimming in the second round of testing of Sound Rivers’ annual Swim Guide program.

The sites tested positive for fecal bacteria at numbers exceeding the recommended state and federal criteria for recreation, the organization announced.

The bacteria was located at Sunset Park in Rocky Mount, Tarboro’s River Road, the Town Common and Port Terminal in Greenville, Yankee Hall at Pactolus and Mason’s Landing, Havens Garden and Pamlico Plantation in Washington. Ten other testing sites along the Tar-Pamlico basin were safe for swimming.

Boaters, swimmers and their pets should avoid the water or practice caution at these sites, as exposure may come with an increased risk of gastrointestinal illness and skin infections, Sound Rivers reported.

Swim Guide is an international water-quality program conducted locally by Sound Rivers, a Washington, N.C.-based nonprofit that promotes conservation in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse river basins.

Each week, a team of Sound Rivers’ volunteers gathers water samples at 46 popular recreation sites from the Raleigh-Durham area to the Pamlico Sound. The samples are tested for the bacteria E. coli by Sound Rivers’ staff and results are released to the public, providing an easy way to find out where it’s safe to swim.

Notifications are posted on an interactive map at www.soundrivers.org/swimguide and through text alerts. Text “SWIM” to 33222 for weekly water-quality text updates. For more information about Sound Rivers, visit soundrivers.org.

Eighteen sites are tested in the Tar-Pamlico River basin: at Rocky Mount — Tar River Reservoir and Sunset Park; at River Road near Tarboro; at Greenville — Town Common, Wildwood Park, Port Terminal and Yankee Hall; at Washington — Mason’s Landing, Washington waterfront, Haven’s Garden Boat Ramp, Chocowinity Bay at Cypress Landing, Swan Point, Broad Creek at Pamlico Plantation, Blounts Bay and Blounts Creek at Cotton Patch Landing; at Bath — Bonner Point and Plum Point; and Belhaven — Pungo River at Woodstock Point.

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.