Want to get water quality alerts – weekly during the summer and monthly the rest of the year – 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. During peak swim season, 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 brackish or salt water. This year, Swim Guide will continue year round! From October through April, samples will be collected monthly from a limited number of Swim Guide sites.

We know that recreation in our waterways is not limited to the summer months, so we wanted to provide the information for those who use the river year-round.

(A green icon means a site has passed; a red icon means a site has failed; a gray icon means data was not available)


On the Neuse: All sites passed.

On the Tar-Pamlico: Havens Gardens in Washington and Port Terminal in Greenville failed.

Oct. 27: Lawson Creek Park on the Trent River and Glenburnie Park on the Neuse River failed.

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, who are helping us bring Swim Guide to you summer of 2022!

ECU SECU Public Fellows Internship Foundation

Melinda Vann & David Silberstein

Wendy & Tim Wilson