The Northampton County Health Department has lifted the Swimming Advisory at the Kiptopeke State Park Beach near Cape Charles, Virginia. Re-testing conducted July 2, 2019 by the Virginia Department of Health showed that bacteria levels in the water once again meet the State Water Quality Standards.
Signs previously alerting the public of the swimming advisory at the Kiptopeke State Park Beach are being removed. Environmental health officials sample the Kiptopeke State Park Beach and other public beaches weekly during the swimming season from late May through early September.
Recreational waters are monitored for bacteria using indicator organisms such as enterococci, the indicator of choice for estuarine and marine waters. Enterococci are a group of organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination of recreational waters. While they 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.
For additional information on beaches, contact the Accomack County Health Department at (757)787-5886, or the Northampton County Health Department at (757)442-6228.
To learn more about the beach water monitoring program in Virginia visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/beach-monitoring/. For more information about recreational water swimming safety, visit the website www.swimhealthyva.com.