5 NJ beaches test disgustingly high for fecal bacteria
Five Jersey Shore beaches are under an advisory after testing with high levels of bacteria.
The DEP tests 215 ocean, bay and fresh water beaches at least once a week. The beaches in Monmouth and Ocean County tested Monday above the minimum of 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample.
The beaches under advisory are:
- Belmar — L Street Beach, a river beach (290 cfu) (
- Lavallette — Brooklyn, a bay beach (120 cfu)
- Long Beach Township — Stockton, a bay beach (600 cfu)
- Long Branch — South Bath, an ocean beach (170 cfu)
- Seaside Heights — Hancock, a bay beach (600 cfu)
A second test was taken on Tuesday. A second high test result will lead to a closure for swimming.
The heavy thunderstorms of the past week are likely to blame for creating a build-up of waste from geese, seagulls, and other animals in the water.
"Summer is New Jersey's rainy season. And, in the summertime, when it rains, it pours," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "We've had many rounds of thunderstorms sweep through the state over the past few weeks. Heavy rain becomes runoff, washing any number of nasty things right into our waterways."
Hancock Beach, also known as Sunset Beach, was under an advisory in July following Tropical Storm Elsa and after heavy rain during the Memorial Day weekend.
Swimming water that exceeds the acceptable level of bacteria could cause gastrointestinal and respiratory problems for swimmers.
Contact with the water, according to DEP, 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 but they can occasionally be more serious, especially in children and the elderly.