Swimming not recommended

UPDATE: The recreational water advisory for Slaughter Beach has been lifted as of 3:45 p.m. on Friday, June 1.


The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has issued a recreational water advisory for Slaughter Beach.

The advisory took effect at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30, and will be lifted pending further testing.

According to DNREC, at this time of year, thousands of migrating shorebirds visit the Delaware Bay Coast and the droppings they leave behind contain the same fecal indicator bacteria used to test recreational water quality. Increased rainfall can result in these indicator bacteria washing into the nearshore waters. Additional water quality samples have been taken at Slaughter Beach and the advisory will be lifted once indicator bacteria levels are within the recreational water limits.

DNREC's Recreational Water Program protects the health of swimmers in a number of ways:

Shoreline surveys are conducted adjacent to guarded recreational beaches to identify all actual and potential sources of pollution. Water samples are collected at least weekly at all guarded beaches during the swimming season (mid-May through Labor Day). Water samples are analyzed to determine the levels of Enterococci bacteria in recreational waters. Enterococcus is one of several indicator organisms that signal the presence of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.  Signs have been posted at popular public access points around Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay to warn potential swimmers of the risks associated with swimming in poor quality waters. For your health and safety, the Department recommends swimming only at guarded beaches where water samples are collected. There is a permanent caution regarding swimming in the Inland Bays. The Inland Bays suffer from nutrient pollution, coming from failing septic systems, fertilizers and other sources. Water is slow to flush out of these bay, Indian River Bay, Rehoboth Bay and Little Assawoman Bay, so pollutants linger.

For current information about swimming advisories, call 1-800-922-WAVE.