The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has issued a “Water Contact Advisory” for Pascagoula Beach East from Westwood east to Grand Oaks. Water samples at this station show the presence of Enterococcus bacteria, which is an indicator for bacteria pollution.
Three other advisories are also in effect for Front Beach from the Yacht Club east to Jackson Avenue, Shearwater Beach from Weeks Bayou east to Ashley Place, and at Pascagoula Beach West from Oliver Street east to Westwood Street.
These segments of beach are not closed; however, there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these areas. When water samples show that levels are safe for human contact, the advisories will be lifted.
An advisory is issued when bacteria levels exceed water quality criteria and pose an increased risk to human health. Under the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program, water is tested for the presence of Enterococcus bacteria, which is an indicator for bacteria pollution. When an advisory is issued, water contact should be avoided.
Swimmers are reminded that the Beach Task Force has a standing recommendation that swimming not occur during or within 24 hours of a significant rainfall event.
As a reminder, MDEQ lifted water contact warnings on October 4 when results for water samples collected October 2 for toxicity testing for a blue-green Harmful Algal Bloom were all below the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines of 8 parts per billion for microcystin toxin.