SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Advisories have been issued for several areas of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued the water contact advisories Friday after water samples showed areas with high bacteria levels.
The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in the following areas:
Station 1 ? Lakeshore -- from the Sliver Slipper Casino eastward to the jetty west of Poinset Avenue.
Station 3 ? Waveland -- from Oak Blvd east to Farve St.
Station 4 -- Bay St. Louis -- from the box culvert east to Ballantine St.
Station 5 -- Past Christian West -- from Fort Henry Ave east to Elliot St.
Station 7A -- Long Beach -- from Oak Gardens east to Girard.
Station 10 -- Gulfport Central -- from Alfonso Dr. east to Arkansas Ave.
Runoff from the recent heavy rainfall is most likely to blame. The Beach Task Force has a standing recommendation that swimming not occur during or within 24 hours of a significant rainfall event.
When water samples show that levels are safe for human contact, the advisories will be lifted. The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, which performs water sampling of the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches for MDEQ, notifies the agency when an area has returned to acceptable levels.
For more information on the Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program, including maps of the sampling stations, visit: http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/msbeach/index.cgi