Health department says stay out of water surrounding Tybee Island pier

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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – The health department is advising beachgoers to stay out of the water on Tybee Island between 11th to 18th streets surrounding the pier.

According to the Chatham County Health Department, Tybee Strand Beach is not closed, but a sign has been posted to let people know that swimming or wading in the water is not recommended.

The health department issued the following statement Wednesday, which reads in part:

Water samples are tested only for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife.

It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

When a beach is under advisory, it 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 the EPA’s recommended standards.

For more information, click or tap here to view FAQs from the health department.

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