BRUNSWICK — Effective Jan. 1, the Beach Monitoring and Notification Program began using a new bacterial level threshold — recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency — in order to determine when swimming advisories should be issued.
The Beach Monitoring and Notification Program is a cooperative effort between the state departments of Natural Resources and Public Health.
DNR tests the water weekly at coastal beaches. When elevated levels of bacteria are found exceeding the EPA-recommended threshold, DPH — and more specifically, the Coastal Health District — issues a swimming advisory for that beach. The new bacterial threshold value recommended by the EPA is more protective of public health. However, because Georgia’s beaches have good water quality overall, the new advisory threshold is not expected to appreciably increase the number of swimming advisories.
More information can be found on the Coastal Health District website at www.gachd.org or the DNR Healthy Beaches website at www.GaHealthyBeaches.org.