In eastern North Carolina there are plenty of areas you can find to enjoy the water.
However people who use water sites for recreational use should watch out for high levels of bacteria.
One local organization is helping to do that.
Sound Rivers makes an effort to alert the community on where it is safe to go through their swim guide program.
This is Sound Rivers second year doing their swim guide program to help keep the community up to date on safe areas to visit each weekend.
Every week volunteers collect water samples at various recreation sites and Sound Rivers processes them to test for bacteria.
Katy Hunt is the lower Neuse river keeper and is based in New Bern.
It’s important for the community to keep up regularly on these levels of bacteria because they could be putting their health at risk.
“E coli bacteria can effect human health leading to gastrointestinal issues to you know mild to major, landing people in the hospital. so we want to make sure that people know to stay away from these places with the high levels of bacteria so they can protect themselves,” Hunt says.
The organization is trying to help reduce the amount of pollution in these waters and find the root of the issue.
Hunt says the organization advocates for clean water and want to hold the polluters accountable.
When certain sites come back week after week with high levels, sound rivers investigates that area further to see what is going on.
Sound Rivers posts their results every week on Friday afternoon.
If you are interested in this information you can check out Sound Rivers website or you can sign up for text alerts by texting SWIM to the number 33222.