Five NJ Beaches Closed by High Fecal Bacteria Levels
Five of the 13 beaches under advisory for high levels of bacteria were closed for swimming after testing a second time at a higher level of fecal bacteria.
A beach goes under advisory after testing once above the minimum of 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample. A ban on swimming goes into effect if the result from a second test comes back above the minimum.
The level went up at the 25th Street Beach in Barnegat Light. Beachwood Beach West, which had tested at nearly six times the maximum, is now just twice the maximum. Hancock Beach in Seaside Heights is still over three times higher.
The closed beaches are:
- Barnegat Light Borough — 25th Street (180 cfu)
- Beachwood — Beachwood Beach West (200 cfu)
- Lavallette — Reese Ave (150 cfu)
- Pine Beach — East Beach Station Ave (160 cfu)
- Seaside Heights — Hancock (360 cfu)
It can take a long time for excess rainwater and floodwater to work through the state's waterways and drainage systems, according to WPG Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
"There are several river gauges in northeastern New Jersey still reading way above flood stage. And with more rain in the forecast, we could very well see a resurgence of runoff and pollution issues through this weekend," Zarrow said.
Results from a sample taken on Wednesday which will determine if the swimming ban stays in place will be released on Thursday.
High levels of bacteria could cause gastrointestinal and respiratory issues for swimmers.
Contact with the water can result in any one or more of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat
- Runny nose/sneezing
- Skin rash and itching
- Ear and eye irritation
- Fever and chills
Most of the time, these symptoms are minor, DEP said. But they can occasionally be more serious, especially in children and the elderly.