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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2015

DHEC issues swimming advisory

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A section of beach along South Carolina's Grand Strand has been placed under a swimming advisory, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today.

"The affected areas include 200 feet above and below the beach access at Town of Briarcliffe Cabana and the Middle Gate Beach Access in the Town of Briarcliffe," said Sean Torrens of DHEC's Pee Dee Environmental Quality Control office in Myrtle Beach. "These areas were adversely impacted by the heavy rains that struck our coastline Monday night and early Tuesday. High bacteria levels have been detected in these sections of beach, and swimming is not advised until bacteria levels return to normal."

According to Torrens, it is safe to wade, collect shells and fish within the swimming advisory area.

"To guard against the possibility of swallowing the water, it's best to keep your head up and out of the water," Torrens said. "People with open cuts or other wounds should also avoid contact with the water."

According to Torrens, DHEC staff will be placing temporary signs at beaches found to have high levels of bacteria in the water where there is not currently a permanent sign. Permanent signs currently exist at several beach locations cautioning that bacteria levels in the water could be high following heavy rains. Please go tohttp://gis.dhec.sc.gov/beachaccess/ to view recent water sampling results along the coast.

For more information about beach water quality, call DHEC's Pee Dee EQC office in Myrtle Beach at (843)238-4378 or visit DHEC's beach monitoring webpage at:http://www.scdhec.gov/beach.

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For more information:
Jim Beasley – (803) 898-7769
E-mail – beaslejc@dhec.sc.gov