Sailing on Tar Pamlico – Washington Daily News

With Sound Rivers

WASHINGTON [June 3, 2022] – Eighteen recreational facilities have passed the Swim Guide test this week in the Tar-Pamlik watershed – a sign that the water quality in these places is good.

“This is good news, but it may be the result of how little rainfall we had last week – less stormwater runoff means less pollution gets into the waterways,” said Clay Barber, Sound Rivers ’program director.

In addition to the 18 sites that met recreational water quality standards, five more underwent further testing on Friday due to high salinity in the lower Pamlik. These facilities are Woodstock Point in Belhaven, Plum Point and Boner Point in Bath, Landing Dine in Gus Creek State Park and Blount Bay. Visit to see the results of these sites.

Swim Guide is an international water quality program run locally by Sound Rivers, an environmental nonprofit that aims to keep North Carolina’s waterways suitable for fishing, swimming and drinking.

Each week, a team of Sound Rivers volunteers collects water samples at 54 popular holiday destinations along the Noise and Tar Pamlik rivers, from the Raleigh Durham area to Pamlik Bay. The samples are then tested for E. coli by Sound Rivers staff, and the results are published, providing an easy way to find out where to swim safely. Where this is not the case, boatmen, swimmers and their pets should avoid water or exercise caution in these areas, as exposure to water saturated with bacteria increases the risk of gastrointestinal diseases and skin infections.

Twenty-three of the 54 Swim Guide sampling sites are located in the Tar Pamlico River basin: five recreation sites on Lake Royal, near Louisburg; The Tar River Reservoir and Battle Park in Rocky Mount; access by boat River Road near Tarborough; Town Common, Wildwood Park and Greenville Port Terminal; Yankee Hall in Pactolus; downtown waterfront, ramp for Mason Landing and Haven Gardens boats in Washington; Chocowinity Bay in Cypress Landing; Broad Creek at Pamlico Plantation; Blounts Bay and Blounts Creek in Cotton Patch Landing; Dean’s landing at Gus Creek State Park; Bonner Point and Plum Point on Bath Creek; and the Punga River at Woodstock Point, near Belhaven.

The Swim Guide Sound Rivers program is sponsored by the Water Quality Foundation in memory of Gene Pate, Grady-White Boats, Cummins, Edward Jones-Rhoda Cantrell, Cypress Landing, UNC Lenoir Health Care, National Estuary Program Albemarlo-Pamlic, Greenville (evening) Rotary Club, Scholarship UNC Paul Molchanov, ECU SECU Public Fellows Internship Foundation, Greenville, Lake Royale Real Estate Owners Association, Melinda Van and David Zilberstein, and Wendy and Tim Wilson. To subscribe to the Swim Guide notification, go to the page or send the text “SWIM” to number 33222 for weekly water quality updates. For more information on Sound Rivers, visit

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