For third straight week, N.J. bay beach under advisory due to excessive fecal bacteria

The 25th Street bay beach in Barnegat Light. (Google image)

The 25th Street bay beach in Barnegat Light. (Google image)

UPDATE: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection discontinued the swimming advisory at the 25h Street Barnegat Bay beach in Barnegat Light Wednesday after an acceptable resampling result, officials said. 

For the third consecutive week, a Barnegat Bay beach in northern Long Beach Island is under a swimming advisory. The advisory was issued Tuesday afternoon due to the water exceeding the allowable bacteria threshold, state officials said.

According to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s njbeaches.org, the advisory is posted at the 25th Street bay beach in Barnegat Light. No other New Jersey beaches are under a swimming advisory or closure.

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.

A water sample collected on Monday registered 470 colonies, or more than four-and-a-half times the allowable limit. The beach was closed for one day last week.

According to a posting on the njbeaches.org Twitter account, resamples were collected and a sanitary survey was conducted Tuesday, adding that pollution source tracking is ongoing in the area.

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 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 rarely closed.

You can check water quality at your local beaches here.

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

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.