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:

June 18, 2021

All sites in the Upper Neuse/upper Tar-Pamlico watersheds tested at levels safe for recreation, according to state and federal standards.

Three sites in the Lower Neuse tested positive for E. coli at levels unsafe for recreation, exceeding state and federal standards: at Pollocksville, Midyette St. and Pierce Creek in Oriental.

All sites along the Tar-Pamlico tested  at levels safe for recreation.

We recommend using caution while recreating in these waters over the weekend. Have fun and stay safe 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!


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