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

(Justin Auciello for WHYY)

(Justin Auciello for WHYY)

Higher than acceptable fecal bacteria measurements have once again led to the hoisting of swimming advisories at New Jersey beaches.

According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the advisory is in effect for Bennett Avenue in Wildwood City, Lavendar Road in Wildwood Crest, and East 10th Avenue in North Wildwood.

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 Bennett Avenue and Lavendar Road beaches registered 120 colonies, while East 10th Avenue generated 110 colonies when tested on Monday, the same day a malfunction at a water treatment plant led to swimming bans at beaches in Wildwood Crest. The impacted beaches were reopened on Tuesday.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Some waterways are typically susceptible to higher bacteria levels after rainfall and associated storm runoff.

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 will close if two consecutive samples are collected at a bathing beach exceed the state standard. The closure remains in effect until subsequent sampling indicates bacteria levels are again below the standard, according to the DEP.

In recent weeks, swimming advisories have been issued in bay beaches in Somers Point and Long Beach Island as well as an ocean beach in Long Branch. All were lifted the following day.

You can check water quality at your local beaches here.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal