TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE: The beach water advisory for Polk Street Beach on Tybee Island has been lifted.
The Chatham County Health Department issued the advisory on Tuesday, March 23, for Tybee’s Polk Street Beach, from the end of the beach to the jetty, after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.
Subsequent water samples now show the bacteria levels have dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits and the advisory has been lifted as of Tuesday, March 30.
The Chatham County Health Department has issued a water quality advisory for Polk Street Beach, from the end of the beach to the jetty, on Tybee Island.
The advisory was issued on Tuesday, March, 23 because the level of enterococcus bacteria, which are found in humans and some wildlife, was above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.
Periodic advisories are not unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, stormwater runoff, or boating waste.
The advisory does not mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from the area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.
The beach area under advisory will be re-tested and the advisory will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards.
This advisory is only for the specified area and does not impact any other beaches on the island.