We are waiting for results from water quality testing in North and South Carolina. Anyone who has been affected by Florence floodwaters should remain out of the water until they get the green light. The Floodwaters and runoff will have tons of pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites), in addition to the 5.5 million gallon sewage spill from the Southside wastewater treatment plant in Wilmington, NC, and coal ash pond and hog lagoons breached – all making their way into the Atlantic Ocean.
An 85-year old Wilmington man died from an infection allegedly from exposure to post-hurricane pathogens in the floodwaters.
The Coastal Federation has an interesting article here with more information. They are probably going to be your best bet for accurate information as the DEQ isn’t doing testing and the last test was on Sept 10. I think they are in that “we don’t want to know” phase.
Here is the Coastal Federation Article from their Coastal Review Online READ ME
In this article, they quote New Hanover County Public Health Director Phillip Tarte who warns, “Everyone should stay out of flooded water if possible. If you have a cut or scrape, or have a compromised immune system or liver disease, you are more susceptible to a bacterial infection from those waters.”
They have a list of how to safely access the water and what to do if exposed, but I don’t even want to entertain it right now. Stay out of the water or at least, consider all the information you can get before you decide if/when to get back in the water.
We will keep you updated as we get more information.