There has been some confusing news and posts lately about water quality. Recent advisories were for small, isolated areas following heavy rainfall and were cancelled within a couple days. Understandably, this can cause some alarm and concern for your guests and future visitors. Following are some resources to help you and your guests know more about water quality, beach safety and planning their visit to Myrtle Beach. Also, there will be a Water Quality Communications Webinar on Monday, July 2nd at 10am. Please join if you would like to learn more.
We've updated the Water Quality page on VisitMyrtleBeach.com with the latest information and resources related to swim advisories and key facts.
Check out this interactive map of the latest beach access and water quality test results from South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
SCDHEC has also compiled some FAQs - frequently asked questions and answers related to water quality and their beach monitoring program.
You'll find a round up of beach information for the Myrtle Beach area on VisitMyrtleBeach.com, includng beach saftey tips, links to local beach ordinances, and more.
The Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium and partners cordially invite Grand Strand tourism / hospitality establishments and businesses who frequently interact with the public to attend this FREE webinar to learn more about our coastal water quality, how our water is tested, and what resources are out there to help you. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions and share some of the water quality-related questions that they commonly receive from visitors to a panel of local water quality experts. Just in time for the fast approaching holiday! Speaker and panelist representatives include: S.C. Department of Health and Environmental, Horry County Stormwater Management, City of North Myrtle Beach, and Coastal Carolina University.
Know the Facts
All Myrtle Beach area beaches are open.
Water quality for beaches throughout the entire Myrtle Beach area is very good.
Water quality testing occurs twice a week during the summer and results are posted on SCDHEC’s Beach Access page.
Rainstorms create runoff and can temporarily increase the bacteria count in the water.
If testing is done immediately after a rainfall, bacteria levels will be temporarily elevated.
Within 24 to 72 hours, the water quality levels for our beaches return to their normal levels (and well within state guidelines).
Long-term advisories are put in place to encourage people not to swim within 200 feet of tested swash/stormwater outfall areas during times immediately following rainstorms. This has been standard practice for many years.
There are 60 miles of beach in the area, so it is easy to avoid 400-foot areas that may be under an advisory.
SC DHEC will occasionally issue a temporary swimming advisory near a specific swash/stormwater outfall location when bacteria levels are elevated after rainstorms and then lift it the next day or so when bacteria levels decrease. See press releases on www.scdhec.gov.
For additional information on the water quality of the Myrtle Beach area, go to SCDHEC's Beach Monitoring Page
The Chamber and CVB continue to work together with City and DHEC officials to see how we can improve future communications on water quality. We also continue to work with media and on social media to minimize misinformation and share the facts.