Want to ask a question? Click here

Have there been any recent studies on bacteria levels in Castle Hayne at the river? Is it safe to swim there?

Gareth McGrath
Riverside Park signs

Warning signs at Castle Hayne's Riverside Park. (Photo by GARETH MCGRATH/STARNEWS)

There haven’t been any recent bacteria studies by the University of North Carolina Wilmington or state or county health agencies at Castle Hayne’s Riverside Park.

But New Hanover County officials are continuing to do water quality testing at the county park along the Northeast Cape Fear River, and recent results have mostly been within federal and state safe standards, said Shawn Ralston, the county’s senior environmental planner.

However, the bacteria woes that emerged several years ago were from contamination in the sediment that gets kicked back up into the water column when people swim or simply wade into the river.

But Ralston said there’s little the county can do to fix that problem since even removing the sediment would only be a temporary fix because the river is constantly washing new sediment downstream.

Technically, the “beach” at the county park isn’t a swimming beach — although it has been a popular watering hole for decades.

Still, swimming there isn’t condoned by the county.

Signs warning about the health risk of water contact due to the elevated bacteria levels have been posted, in English and Spanish, since 2008.

“We are discouraging swimming by putting the signs up,” Ralston said.

User-contributed question by:
Susan Weaver

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: