Popular Washington site fails first Sound Rivers 2024 test

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) -The first Swim Guide for 2024 was released and one popular site in Washington failed in bacteria levels.

According to Sound River’s program director Clay Barber, out of the seven sites across the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico sites, the only location to fail was Havens Garden in Washington. This failure comes from a test of bacteria in the water that does not meet state and federal guidelines.

“Even though it’s winter, people are still out recreating on our waterways — boating, kayaking, canoeing. That’s why we’re providing water-quality information all year ‘round now,” Barber said.

Sites are monitored for E. coli bacteria in freshwater and enterococci bacteria in brackish or salt water, according to Sound Rivers. These bacteria cause an increased risk of gastrointestinal illnesses and skin infections.

The environmental group gives the sites a pass or fail, according to federal and state guidelines.

Havens Garden will continued to be monitored until levels return to normal.