RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A group that monitors river quality in North Carolina says three sites failed the Swim Guide test due to high levels of fecal bacteria.

The group, Sound Rivers, monitors several areas in the Tar-Pamlico and Upper Neuse watersheds.

Sound Rivers gathered samples on Thursday were tested for the bacteria E. coli.

According to Sound Rivers’ data, Poole Road’s E. coli levels measured greater than 2,419 MPN, which is the highest a given sample will allow. The EPA’s standard for water quality is 235 MPN or below.

Sound Rivers’ program director said when he collected the sample, there was something odd about the water at the Poole Road location.

“I experienced a weird smell and saw an unnatural looking discharge from across the river, right in front of a major construction site,” Barber said.

Buffaloe Road and Smithfield Town Commons also were above the recommended state and federal water-quality standards. Buffaloe Road measured 248.1 MPN and Smithfield measured 344.8 MPN.

Swimmers, boaters and their pets should avoid these water sites, as exposure may come at an increased risk of gastrointestinal illness and skin infections.

Every week, volunteers collect water samples at 54 recreations sights from the Raleigh/Durham area to the Pamlico Sound.