UPDATE: The Chatham County Health Department has lifted the advisory for South Beach at Chatham Street (from 18th Street to Inlet Avenue) on Tybee Island.
The advisory was issued August 29 after routine quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria, which increases the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.
Subsequent water samples taken showed that the bacteria levels dropped below the EPA’s recommended limits and the ban has been lifted.
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – While the water on Tybee Island may be safe for most beachgoers, the Chatham County Health Department today issued an advisory for one area.
Just two days ago, Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman, along with Tybee Ocean Rescue, warned beachgoers to stay out of the water due to rough waters and extremely dangerous rip currents.
Green flags are flying today on Tybee Island, meaning it is safe to go back into the water, but the Health Department advises South Beach visitors to stay out of the water.
The advisory has been issued for Chatham Street, from 18th Street to Inlet Avenue. Beachgoers are urged to stay out of the water due to “a possible risk of illness associated with water contact.”
According to the Health Department, this means “that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards.”
The area will be retested and the advisory will be lifted when tests show the bacteria levels meet EPA’s recommended standards.
This comes just two days after Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman warned beachgoers to stay out of the water due to rough waters and extremely dangerous rip currents.
The double red flags are no longer flying, but South Beach visitors may still want to avoid the water.
For more information about beach water testing, go to www.gachd.org and click on the Environmental Health tab at the top of the page.