COLUMBIA, S.C. – Excessive bacteria levels found in the water of a second along South Carolina’s Grand Strand in North Myrtle Beach has prompted health officials to issue a swimming advisory.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, high levels of ETCOC (enterococcus bacteria) were detected during sampling.

“The area affected is at 16th Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach,” said Sean Torrens of DHEC’s Pee Dee Environmental Affairs office in Myrtle Beach. “High bacteria levels have been detected in this section of beach, and swimming is not advised until the bacteria levels return to normal.”

Torrens said it is safe to wade, collect shells, and fish within the swimming advisory area.

“To guard against the possibility of swallowing the water, it’s best to keep your head up and out of the water,” Torrens said. “People with open cuts or other wounds should also avoid contact with the water.”

Click here to view the most recent water sampling results along the coast.