Environment

Hitting the water on Memorial Day weekend? Sound Rivers tells you where contamination is.

The Upper Neuse River Basin includes Falls Lake, the Eno River and Lake Michie. (Map: Upper Neuse River Basin Association)

Sound Rivers, a nonprofit environmental group, launches its summer waterway testing in the Upper Neuse River watershed this weekend, and has found five sites with high levels of fecal bacteria.

The bacteria tested for — E.coli  — can be found in freshwater and indicates likely fecal contamination. If you ingest or touch the contaminated water, there is an increased risk of gastrointestinal illness and skin infections.

The sites showing high levels of bacteria above state and federal criteria are Hickory Hill Boat Launch, Anderson Point Park Canoe Launch, Buffaloe Road Canoe Launch, Milburnie Park Canoe Launch, and Poole Road.

Either avoid the area or use caution if you decide to visit. Keep water out of your eyes and nose, and wash your hands after you’ve touched it. This is especially important if  you have open cuts, scratches or wounds.

To find out more about water quality in your area, go to www.soundrivers.org/swimguide or text ‘SWIM’ to 33222 for weekly water quality updates.

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