Chatham Co Health Dept. issues water quality advisory for Polk Street Beach

ByWTOC Staff|March 23, 2021 at 12:40 PM EDT - Updated March 23 at 12:40 PM

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - The Chatham County Health Department has issued a water quality advisory for Polk Street Beach on Tybee Island, according to a release from the department. The advisory extends from the end of the beach to the jetty. The advisory does not impact other beaches on the island.

The Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division conducts testing of water samples at Chatham County’s beaches throughout the year, according to the health department. Tests check for the presence of enterococcus bacteria which enters waterways from animal waste, storm water runoff and boating waste. Test results from the affected Polk Street Beach showed elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

The Chatham County Health Department emphasizes that Polk Street Beach is not closed to the public, but advises that visitors avoid swimming and wading in the water. A sign has been posted on the beach with the warning. Those who enter the water are at risk of illness, according to the department.

Water samples from Polk Street Beach will be retested and the water quality advisory will be lifted once enterococcus bacteria levels meet EPA standards.

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Photo: WTOC

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