If you’re heading to Myrtle Beach for your summer vacation, be aware that parts of the beach line are under temporary swim advisories due to high bacteria levels.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) issued swim advisories for the areas listed below.
- 17th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach
- 33rd Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach
- Swash at Myrtle Beach State Park in Horry County
- 16th Avenue North in Surfside Beach
- 11th Avenue North in Surfside Beach
- 3rd Avenue South in Surfside Beach
The DHEC says bacteria levels in those locations are above state and federal standards, and it is advised you do not swim until the bacteria levels go down. It is still okay to wade, walk and collect shells along the beach. People with open cuts or other wounds should still consider avoiding any contact with the water.
The DHEC says it tests regularly for enterococcus bacteria, which are typically not considered harmful to humans. However, elevated levels of these bacteria in the water usually indicates possible contamination by fecal waste and other disease-causing organisms.
People swimming in waters with bacteria levels higher than the state and federal standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.