Fecal bacteria leads to swimming advisories at 3 N.J. beaches

(Justin Auciello for WHYY)

(Justin Auciello for WHYY)

Three New Jersey beaches are under swimming advisories Tuesday due to elevated bacteria counts.

The advisories cover the Trenton Avenue ocean beach in Lavallette, the 5th Avenue bay beach in Seaside Park and the 16th Street bay beach in Surf City, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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.

According to the state’s Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program, the latest enterococcus tests were conducted on Monday, with results of 600 colonies at the Lavallette and Seaside Park beaches and 110 colonies in Surf City.

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Some waterways are typically susceptible to higher bacteria levels after rainfall and associated storm runoff. The state tests water quality at over 200 ocean, bay, and river beaches weekly and issues advisories 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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