We routinely collect water samples at more than 120 locations along South Carolina's beaches. If high numbers of bacteria are found, we issue an advisoryfor that portion of the beach. An advisory means that DHEC advises you NOT to swim in those areas. This is especially true for young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Advisories do not mean that the beach is closed. Wading, fishing, and shell collecting do not pose a risk. Advisories may be issued due to high bacteria counts or rainfall. Advisories are lifted when sample results fall below the limit of 104CFU/100mL. Check the local newspaper and television news stations. Look for advisory signs when you go to the beach.
The South Carolina beach monitoring season begins May 1 and runs through October 1.