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Overflow waters spill over Hope Mills Lake Dam in September of 2018, after Hurricane Florence hit the region.

Town officials have issued a Hope Mills Lake bacteria advisory, encouraging residents to swim at their own risk, effective immediately.

The advisory comes after what the town says were “elevated levels of bacteria” in the lake water were uncovered in testing. The Town said the move was a “precautionary measure in the interest of public safety.”

“Caution: Recent testing indicates elevated levels of bacteria; enter water at your own risk,” a Town of Hope Mills release said. “This is simply a precautionary measure in the interest of public safety.”

Posted by Town of Hope Mills Administration - Government on Thursday, July 1, 2021

The release encouraged precautions for avoiding illnesses when swimming in natural bodies of water, with information from the CDC, WebMD, EPA and N.C. Division of Public Health and Environmental Health.

Some of the tips included:

  • Avoid getting the water in your mouth, and do not drink or swallow the water.
  • Do not swim in natural waters… if you have open wounds or sores.
  • Shower with soap and water after swimming or playing in the water
  • Don’t swim if you have diarrhea.

The lake has been a popular destination since reopening, and especially since the weather has heated up.


Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.