EPA's  BEACH   Report:
              North  Carolina  2009 Swimming Season
              May 2010
Introduction
The BEACH Act of 2000 requires that coastal
and Great Lakes states and territories report
to EPA on beach monitoring and notification
data for their coastal recreation waters. The
BEACH Act defines coastal recreation waters as
the Great Lakes and coastal waters (including
coastal estuaries) that  states, territories,
and authorized tribes  officially recognize or
designate for swimming, bathing, surfing, or
similar activities in the water.
This fact sheet summarizes beach monitoring
and notification data submitted to EPA by the
State of North Carolina for the 2009.
The North Carolina Department of
Environment and Natural Resources' Division
of Environmental Health administers the
Recreational Water Quality Program, which
monitors the coastal waters along North
Carolina. The 320 miles of ocean coastline and
2.2 million acres of estuarine waters consisting
of coastal rivers, bays and sounds give
residents and visitors many recreational areas
for swimming and water play.
North Carolina's coastal recreational waters
are known for their pristine water quality;
however, frequent monitoring is important to
keep the public informed about any localized
problems that may occur. The Recreational
Water Quality Program monitors 241 sites
along the coast and in 2009 collected 6,289
water samples for recreational waters,
most of them on a weekly basis during the
swimming season, April through October.
North Carolina's ocean beaches rarely have
swimming advisories and in 2009 only two
out of the 24 swimming areas under advisory
was an ocean beach. The other 22 swimming
areas were located on  sounds and rivers where
storm water or the lack of tidal exchange often
contributes to poor water quality.
Figure 1.  North Carolina coastal counties.
                             Camden
                         Pasquotank
Table 1.  Breakdown of monitored and
        unmonitored coastal beaches by
        county by 2009.
County
BEUFORT
BERTIE
BRUNSWICK
CAM DEN
CARTERET
CHOWAN
CRAVEN
CURRITUCK
DARE
HYDE
NEW HANOVER
ONSLOW
RAM LI CO
PASQUOTANK
RENDER
PERQUIMANS
TYRRELL
TOTALS
Total
Beaches
11
1
39
2
53
1
8
9
57
5
21
16
9
1
6
1
1
241
Monitored
11
1
39
2
53
1
8
9
57
5
21
16
9
1
6
1
1
241
Not
Monitored
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

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2009 Summary Results
How many notification actions were reported and
how long were they?
When water quality standards are exceeded at a
particular beach, North Carolina's approach is to
issue a swimming advisory that warns people to avoid
contact with the ocean water. A total of 24 monitored
beaches had at least one advisory issued during the
2009 swimming season. About 57 percent of North
Carolina's 35 notification actions lasted only one day.
Figure  2 presents a full breakdown of  notification
action durations.
What percentage of days were beaches under a
notification action?
For North Carolina's 2009 swimming season, actions
were reported less than 1 percent of the time (Figure 3).
How do 2009 results compare to previous years?
Table 2 compares 2009 notification action data with
monitored beach data from previous years.
What pollution sources possibly affect
investigated monitored beaches?
Figure  4 displays the percentage of North Carolina's
investigated monitored beaches possibly affected by
various pollution sources. In 2009, 63 percent  of the
sound-side beaches identified storm related runoff as
a possible source of pollution.

For More  Information
For general information about beaches:
www.epa.gov/beaches/
For more information concerning North Carolina's
beaches, please visit:
www.deh.enr.state.nc.us/shellfish/
Water_Monitoring/RWQweb/home.htm.
  Figure 2: Beach notification actions by duration.
     25 n
            20
                            3-7
                 8-30
      >30
                   Duration of Actions (Days)
  Figure 3: Beach days with
            and without
            notification
            actions.
                Beach days
               with an action:
                   437
                  (0.9%)
                     Beach days
                    with no action:
                       50,923
                       (99.1%)
  Table 2. Beach notification actions, 2007-2009.

Number of monitored
beaches
Number of beaches
affected by notification
actions
Percentage of beaches
affected by notification
actions
Percentage of beach
days affected by
notification actions
2007
243
13
5%
0.4%
2008
240
19
8%
0.3%
2009
241
24
10%
0.9%
Figure 4: Percent of investigated monitored beaches
affected by possible pollution sources (241 beaches).
                                                     0    10   20
                30
Percent of beaches
 40   50   60   70
80   90   100
                             Investigated / no sources found
                                  Non-storm related runoff
                                     Storm-related runoff
                                       Agricultural runoff
                                         Boat discharge
                             Cone, animal feeding operation
                                 Combined sewer overflow
                                  Sanitary sewer overflow
                             Publicly-owned treatment works
                                  Sewer line leak or break
                                    Septic system leakage
                                               Wildlife
                                Other (identified) source(s)
                                    Unidentified source(s)
-
-
0
0

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|2
|11
11




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Note: A single beach may
have multiple sources.
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