8/14 UPDATE: Health Department officials tell WVEC.com that, while awaiting official lab results, it appears King-Lincoln Park will remain closed. Yorktown Beach has had the advisory lifted.
YORKTOWN -- Swimming advisories have been issued for Yorktown Beach in York County and King Lincoln Park Beach in the City of Newport News.
Samples collected on August 12 by the Peninsula Health District showed that bacteria levels in the water exceeded the state water quality standards.
Recreational waters are monitored for bacteria using indicator organisms such as enterococci, the indicator of choice for estuarine and marine waters.
A sign is posted at both beaches alerting the public of the advisory.
Additional samples will be collected by health officials today and results should be available on Thursday. Health officials will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels that meet the State Water Quality Standards.
Enterococci are a group of organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination of recreational waters. While these organisms do not 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 standard have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.
“We encourage the public to protect their health by complying with this advisory,” said Dr. Nzinga Teule-Hekima, Director of the Peninsula Health District. “Typically, an advisory of this nature is temporary and will be withdrawn once the bacteria levels have returned to a safe level.”