Featured Image Credit: tourcharleston.com
Shem Creek is a must see when visiting Charleston with thousands of tourists stopping by during the summer months. With the freshest seafood in town and beautiful views of the creek, it is most definitely a popular stop.
The water is full of boats, kayakers, and paddle boarders all joining in on the fun atmosphere of Shem Creek, but before you think about taking a dip in the creek you might want to think twice.
According to Charleston Waterkeeper, Shem Creek is not suitable for swimming due to unsafe levels of fecal bacteria. That’s right people! Poop! Charleston Waterkeeper works to monitor bacteria levels around the Charleston Harbor, three located at Shem Creek.
The recent flood waters have caused runoff and discharges, including animal and human waste. One of the biggest indicators of water quality is rainfall. The more it rains, the worse the water quality is.
The risk of getting sick depends on where you swim and how much harmful bacteria is present. Traces of enterococcus bacteria have been found, indicating fecal contamination. Shem Creek has failed water quality test standards 24 percent of the time so far in 2017.
Charleston Waterkeeper discourages people from swimming in the creek and has started a petition to make state regulators reclassify the creek to get it cleaned up faster.
So if you are daring enough to brave the waters at Shem Creek, we suggest you shower directly after any water contact and keep it out of your eyes or mouth.