• Beach Monitoring and Advisories 2014

    Beach Monitoring and Advisories 2014

    Virginia Department of Health (VDH) monitors bacteria levels in beach water at 46 public beaches on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean during the swimming season (May-September). Weekly water samples are collected by local health departments and analyzed by local laboratories for enterococci bacteria levels. Any bacteria level exceeding Virginia's Water Quality Standard of 104 colony forming units (cfu)/100 mL of water requires the issuance of a swimming advisory. Enterococci bacteria serve as an indicator for fecal contamination in salt/brackish waters; while not harmful themselves, enterococci bacteria indicate that other potentially harmful organisms may be present. High levels of enterococci bacteria indicate an increased health risk to recreational water users. Swallowing water contaminated by these disease-causing organisms can cause the most common recreational water illnesses, which are gastrointestinal and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or fever. Contact with contaminated water can also cause upper respiratory (ear, nose, and throat), and wound infections. The elderly and young children, as well as those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to recreational water illnesses.

    Data Citations, References and Resources:

    2014 Beach Monitoring Data for Virginia (PDF)
    Virginia's 2014 Beach Monitoring Advisory Data (PDF)
    Monitoring and Advisory Data by Year
    Beach Monitoring - VDH Environmental Epidemiology
    Current Swimming Advisories and Monitored Beaches Map
    Beach Monitoring Map, Virginia - Google My Maps

    Data and Resources

    Additional Info

    Field Value
    Author Virginia Department of Health - VDH’s Public Health Toxicology Program
    Maintainer J. Albert Bowden II