NJ could close more than a dozen beaches that are swimming in poop
💧 Samples Monday tested for fecal bacteria came back at a high level
💧 Some beaches had levels at triple and quadruple the minimum level
💧 Second tests Tuesday came back at acceptable levels lifting the advisories
UPDATE: The DEP lifted the advisories early Wednesday afternoon at all 13 beaches.
The state Department of Environmental Protection could be closing 13 beaches for swimming pending test results on the water due back Wednesday.
Samples taken at the beaches on Monday and released Tuesday tested at a higher-than-acceptable level for fecal bacteria. A beach goes under advisory after testing once above the minimum of 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample.
If Tuesday’s samples test high the water will be closed for swimming. The results will be released Wednesday.
The beaches affected are in:
🏖 Atlantic City
🏖 Cape May
🏖 Upper Township
🏖 Wildwood Crest
🏖 Ocean Gate
🏖 Pine Beach
🏖 Point Pleasant Borough
🏖 Seaside Heights
🏖 Seaside Park
Very high levels
Most of the beaches tested slightly over the minimum level but some spiked very high.
The 5th Avenue beach in Seaside Park and Hancock Beach (aka Sunset Beach) in Seaside Heights both tested at four times the acceptable level.
The Highland Rec Center beach in Highlands Borough in Monmouth County tested at nearly double the minimum level. The two river beaches in Point Pleasant Borough came back nearly double the minimum.
Strong thunderstorms that moved through during the weekend could be to blame for the high levels. Heavy rains can bring runoff creating a buildup of waste from geese, seagulls, and other animals in the water.
What happens if you swim in the affected water?
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.