North Myrtle Beach leaders say lake at sporting complex is safe despite public concerns | Myrtle Beach News

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — City officials recently said a lake that’s home to a popular attraction at North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex is safe despite concerns and questions about the condition of its waters from the public.

Shark Wake Park 843 attraction is a cable wakeboarding park and inflatable floating playground opened in 2016 by Greg Norman Jr., son of World Golf Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman.

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The elder Norman also has ties to the North Myrtle Beach business community, as he owns Greg Norman’s Australian Cricket in Barefoot Landing.

North Myrtle Beach leaders said public concerns centered on the water quality of the 25-acre lake and the safety of the public, who patronize business at the city’s sports complex on Robert Edge Parkway, which can be seen by travelers on SC 31 can .

Shark Wake Park

Shark Wake Park 843 opened in 2016 on the 25-acre lake at the NMB Park and Sports Complex. Richard Caines/Staff

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environment issues permits for the freshwater lake designated as a natural swimming area, which the organization defines as “an area where a fee or membership is required to gain access to a natural freshwater.” Place where swimming is encouraged or a natural freshwater place where improvements have been made to encourage swimming.”

Natural swimming areas are required by SCDHEC to collect two water samples per month during their operating season. Shark Wake Park’s last day of business for the season is scheduled for September 30, according to a calendar on its website.

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But there is a 1.1-mile fitness trail around the lake with a covered picnic area that’s open year-round. There is also a sign by the lake indicating that catch and release fishing is permitted.

According to the city, the water samples taken will be analyzed for the bacterium E.coli and if the result is more than 349 colonies/100 ml, the area must be closed. Officials said water samples taken in August showed less than 1 colony/100mL and 44.8 colonies/100mL respectively, which they say is below the maximum threshold.

“Since testing began in 2017, no sample has ever tested more than the maximum allowable amount, and the lake has never been closed,” the city said in a statement.

In addition, the city said it hired an environmental expert after receiving questions from the public that algae had been found in some parts of the lake. Officials said the expert inspected the lake and found that the algae are “non-toxic, non-harmful common green algae found in most natural swimming areas and ponds.”

“The algae pose no danger to those using the lake’s facilities,” the city said. Algal growth occurs in many lakes/ponds at this time of year due to environmental conditions such as heat, humidity and precipitation.

“City staff will treat the lake with an aquatic safe algaecide.”

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