Fecal bacteria leads to swimming advisories at 2 N.J. beaches

Waves breaking along a Jersey Shore beach.

Waves breaking along a Jersey Shore beach. (Justin Auciello for WHYY)

Two New Jersey beaches are under swimming advisories issued Tuesday afternoon due to exceeding the allowable bacteria threshold, state officials said.

According to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s njbeaches.org, the advisories are posted at the Leeward Street ocean beach in Beach Haven and the 75th Street bay beach in Harvey Cedars.

The standard for the acceptable level of enterococcus, a bacteria found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals that can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis, is 104 colonies per 100 ml of water.

The Beach Haven test revealed 120 colonies, while Harvey Cedars registered 140 colonies.

The state tests water quality at 188 ocean beaches, 20 bay beaches, and eight river beaches and issues advisories one day following an unacceptable bacteria level.

Beaches are closed if two consecutive samples collected at a bathing beach exceed the state standard and remain in effect until subsequent sampling indicates bacteria levels are again below the standard, according to the DEP.

State data indicates that the vast majority of swimming advisories are discontinued after retesting, and beaches are very rarely closed.

You can check water quality at your local beaches here.

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