Swim Guide

Get your weekly water quality alerts here!

swim guide here

Want to get weekly water quality alerts straight to your phone? Text “SWIM” to 33222!


Sound Rivers’ Neuse and Pamlico-Tar Riverkeepers work with interns and volunteers to monitor water quality sites in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico watersheds. Our sites are sampled weekly from late May through the end of August. Sites are monitored for E. coli bacteria in freshwater and enterococci bacteria in salt water.


May 26, 2023

While all 54 sites passed on the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico this week, we do urge all swimmers and those recreating on the water to use caution: the heavy rain expected this weekend will be washing lots of pollution into the waterways, so keep your head above water and make sure any open sores are bandaged and sealed!

Note: the map above does not appear to have updated with this week’s results. Working on getting it fixed!


All sites passed.


All sites passed.


All sites passed.

Get Swim Guide Results

Swim Guide volunteers sample each site on Thursdays throughout the summer and results are available by Friday afternoon. They will be posted to this page, can be found at the Swim Guide website, using the app, on our Facebook page, and will be announced on Public Radio East between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each Friday. You can also get the results via weekly text alerts during the summer — just text SWIM to 33222 to join our text alert list!

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Water Quality Criteria

Sound Rivers uses the North Carolina and EPA water-quality criteria for contact recreation. Sites are marked green when the last sample was at healthy levels of bacteria. Sites are marked red when the last sample was above the criteria, or unhealthy levels of bacteria. Sites are marked grey when there are no current results or there is no available information.

E. coli is a type of bacteria found in the intestines of people and other animals, and is a good indicator of recent fecal contamination. While most types of these bacteria are harmless, some types can make us sick or cause more severe gastrointestinal issues in more sensitive groups.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Marine Fisheries Recreational Water Quality Program does additional testing in the region. Those results are also incorporated into the sites listed on the Swim Guide website and app.

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