UPDATED – 7/31/20 4pm – DNREC lifted the recreational swimming advisory for Rehoboth Beach at Rehoboth Avenue late Friday afternoon after water quality tests taken Thursday showed bacteria levels had returned below the advisory level.
The advisory had been issued Thursday based on results from Wednesday’s regularly scheduled sampling by DNREC’s Recreational Water Program. Ocean beach swimming advisories based on bacteria levels usually end after a day or so.
DNREC water quality experts say the elevated level of bacteria that caused the Rehoboth advisory is most likely associated with rainfall that occurred on Tuesday night. These bacteria often originate from wildlife sources and increased rainfall, waves or wildlife feeding near the surf (shorebirds, marine mammals or other warm-blooded animals), which can result in these indicator bacteria washing into near-shore waters.
The current advisory status and history of test results for monitored recreational waters in Delaware, including ocean and bay beaches as well as some inland ponds, is at https://recwaters.dnrec.delaware.gov/. Anyone can sign up at the site to be notified of water advisories when they are issued.
A water quality advisory has been issued for Rehoboth Beach in the area of Rehoboth Avenue following bacterial results which were above the recreational water quality standard. The sample in question was taken on Wednesday. This swimming advisory is not a beach closing, nor does this advisory affect the entire beach.
Signs, like this one, have been posted to alert the public of the advisory. DNREC will continue testing the site, and the advisory will be lifted as soon as bacteria levels decrease to levels that meet the standard.
DNREC monitors water quality throughout the summer months. Elevated readings are often caused by rain. So far this week, according to the Rehoboth DEOS weather station, the city has had only 0.12 inches of rain (0.04 inches on Sunday, 0.05 inches on Tuesday and 0.03 inches on Wednesday).
For more information, please visit recwaters.dnrec.delaware.gov.