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.

As soon as results of our monitoring are available they will be posted to here, can be found at the Swim Guide website, using the smartphone 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 weekly alerts during the summer via text (text SWIM to 33222 to join our text alert list).

Current Conditions:

July 23, 2021

Upper Neuse
Smithfield Town Commons failed its Swim Guide test this week. Take precautions if recreating at this site. All other sites were good to go!

Lower Neuse
Of the samples taken on the Lower Neuse this week, three failed:  Midyette Street, Pierce Creek and Rice Creek, all in Oriental.

The Tar-Pamlico came back clear AGAIN this week, a sign it’s time to get out on the water this weekend!

Happy swimming, folks! 

Be sure to check back here every Friday for updated water quality results!

Help Monitor Your Watershed!

Want to help monitor sites in the Tar-Pamlico or Neuse River watersheds? We’d love to have your help in checking if our water is safe and clean! All Swim Guide volunteer positions are currently filled for summer 2021, but check back here in early 2022 to sign up for next summer!

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 smartphone app.

Thanks so much to our sponsors, helping bring Swim Guide to you this summer!

UNC Pavel Molchanov Scholars 

Melinda Vann & David Silberstein

Water-Quality Fund (in memory of Gene Pate)

ECU SECU Public Fellows Internship Foundation

We’d also like to thank the following for adopting a Swim Guide site this summer!

Zoe – Smithfield Commons Park

Anna and Emily – Yankee Hall Road

Knee Deep Adventures – Port Terminal