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Local Chamber addresses water quality questions

Posted on Jul 7, 2016

As a community that boasts of its beautiful beaches, which offer fun for both visitors and locals, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau’s top concern is always for the safety and health of its beach-goers. In recent days, there have been reports of illness contracted from waters in the North Myrtle Beach area and in response, the chamber has partnered with the city to ensure visitors and locals alike that high water quality standards are held year-round for those who enjoy its shoreline.
“Our primary concern is always for the safety and health of our visitors and residents,” said George DuRant, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce CVB’s Vice President of Tourism Development. “We go to great lengths to communicate that concern and provide timely and accurate information about all things concerning North Myrtle Beach. Our destination is known for our clean, safe beaches and, in fact, have been tested repeatedly by both Coastal Carolina University and DHEC since the beginning of the summer, with water quality test scores well below the threshold for any remote concern.”
According to Patrick Dowling, public information officer for the city of North Myrtle Beach, ocean water quality readings that fall below the limit of 104CFU/110mL are considered safe for swimming. Coastal Carolina University’s marine science program conducts weekly tests on North Myrtle Beach’s shores year-round. Having collected more than 300 samples this year, only five results have exceeded the water quality standard of 104. Since the beginning of peak summer season, none of the North Myrtle Beach ocean water quality tests have exceeded the water quality standard and most testing shows excellent ocean water quality with results below 20.
The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (S.C. DHEC) also tests the city’s ocean water for bacteria from May through the end of the tourism season, with 90 samples taken so far this season. A small number of these S.C. DHEC samples yielded results above the water quality standard on May 3. However, since that date, S.C. DHEC testing also shows excellent water quality in the ocean waters of North Myrtle Beach. To view current water conditions and results from previous testing, visit http://gis.dhec.sc.gov/beachaccess/.
“It is my understanding that the city of North Myrtle Beach’s city manager has spoken with the family of the resident that contracted the illness and has determined that she is not only improving, but was actually in the process of recovering from a recent illness, which may have contributed to her condition,” said DuRant. “The city is doing a great job of monitoring our beaches weekly throughout the year and will make this information available for all who live and visit in the North Myrtle Beach area.”
Both the city of North Myrtle Beach and the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, CVB will continue to provide the public with accurate and up-to-date information regarding the area’s water quality conditions and address any concerns that visitors and locals might have.


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