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North Carolina's beaches could be filled with bacteria

Researchers in Morehead City say they're seeing more fecal matter indicator bacteria in the ocean water.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina's beaches could be filled with bacteria and it's all due to aging infrastructure.

Researchers in Morehead City say they're seeing more fecal matter indicator bacteria in the ocean water. It's because several coastal cities are dealing with high tide issues.

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The tide sends saltwater into nearby storm drains, overwhelming the system and even corroding pipes, sending contaminated water back into the sea.

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Experts say rising sea levels will cause even higher tides, coupled with more coastal development, which is overloading the sewer systems.

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The state does test for fecal indicator bacteria, but the results usually take about two days to come back. So, swimmers may enter contaminated water before an advisory is released.

Experts say the best thing you can do is to avoid swimming in the ocean for at least 24 hours after rain events.

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