COLUMBIA — A small section of Sullivan's Island has been placed under a swimming advisory, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today.

"The affected area includes 200 feet above and below the beach access at Station 30 and Marshall Boulevard," said Harvey Wilkins of DHEC's Region 7 Environmental Quality Control office, which serves Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. "High bacteria levels have been detected in this section of the beach, and swimming is not advised until bacteria levels return to normal."

According to Wilkins, 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 if people don't put their head under water," Wilkins said. "People with open cuts or other wounds should also avoid contact with the water."

For more information about beach water quality, call DHEC's Region 7 EQC office at (843) 953-0150 or visit DHEC's beach monitoring webpage here.