Two Pamlico sites fail this week’s Swim Guide test – Washington Daily News


Two Pamlico locations fail this week’s Swim Guide test

Published at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 8, 2024

Two locations on the Pamlico River did not meet recreational water quality standards this week: Havens Gardens in Washington and Pamlico Plantation, just east of Washington on Broad Creek.

“Havens Gardens has been down for two weeks in a row, so we will keep an eye on that site,” said Clay Barber, Sound Rivers program director.

Swim Guide is an international water quality program administered locally by Sound Rivers, an environmental nonprofit based in Raleigh, New Bern and Washington whose mission is to keep North Carolina’s waterways fishable, swimmable and drinkable.

The program runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Each week, a team of Sound Rivers volunteers collect water samples at more than 50 popular recreation locations, from the Piedmont to the Pamlico Sound. Sound Rivers staff tests samples for E. coli in fresh water and enterococci in salt water and the pass/fail results are made public so you can easily find out where it is safe to swim. A Swim Guide failure means increased levels of fecal bacteria in the water, which can lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal illness and skin infections for both pets and people.

Twenty-three of the Swim Guide sampling sites are in the Tar-Pamlico River basin: five recreational sites on Lake Royale, near Louisburg; Tar River Reservoir and Sunset Park in Rocky Mount; the River Road boat access near Tarboro; Town Common, Wildwood Park and Port Terminal in Greenville; Yankee Hall at Pactolus; the downtown waterfront, Mason’s Landing boat ramp and Havens Gardens in Washington; Chocowinity Bay at Cypress Landing; Broad Creek on Pamlico Plantation; Blounts Bay and Blounts Creek at Cotton Patch Landing; Dinah’s Landing at Goose Creek State Park; Bonner Point and Plum Point on Bath Creek; and Wright’s Creek boating access, near Belhaven.

The Sound Rivers Swim Guide program is sponsored by the Water-Quality Fund in Memory of Gene Pate, Grady-White Boats, Public Radio East, Cummins, UNC Lenoir Health Care, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, UNC Pavel Molchanov Scholars, ECU SECU Public Fellows Internship Foundation, City of Greenville, Lake Royale Property Owners Association, Greenville Evening Rotary Club, Melinda Vann and David Silberstein, and Wendy and Tim Wilson.

To sign up for Swim Guide notifications, visit or text “SWIM” to 833-686-5322 for weekly water quality results. For more information about Sound Rivers, visit