UPDATE: Health department lifts advisory for stretch of Tybee near pier

Local News

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Health department officials have lifted an advisory for Tybee Strand Beach at the pier.

On Wednesday, the Chatham County Health Department issued the advisory recommending beachgoers stay out of the water on the island from 11th to 18th streets surrounding the pier. A routine water test showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

According to the health department, recent water samples show the bacteria levels have dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards, clearing the advisory.

The health department is advising beachgoers to stay out of the water on Tybee Island between 11th and 18th streets surrounding the pier.

According to the Chatham County Health Department, Tybee Strand Beach is not closed, but a sign has been posted to let people know that swimming or wading in the water is not recommended.

The health department issued the following statement Wednesday, which reads in part:

Water samples are tested only for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife.

It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards.

The area will be retested and the advisory will be lifted when tests show the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards.

For more information, click or tap here to view FAQs from the health department.

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