NJ beaches have high water quality

    By: Phil Gregory

    A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council rates New Jersey beaches as having the nation’s 10th best water quality.

    By: Phil Gregory
    philgregorynews@gmail.com

    A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council rates New Jersey beaches as having the nation’s 10th best water quality. But the trend doesn’t look good, as the report shows the number of advisories and beach closings on the rise.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090730pgwater.mp3]

    The data last year shows a 46 percent increase. Environmental groups say the state needs to do more. Jeff Tittel is Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

    Tittel: We only test once a week and it takes a couple of days to get the results back, So we’re really not doing a good job in adequately testing our waters to notify people if there’s a pollution problem so that the beaches should be close.

    John Watson, Deputy Commissioner of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection says the state wants to use the best testing available.

    Watson: What I would like to make sure that people understand is that when you come to New Jersey’s beaches you have a 99.6 percent chance of getting into the water because the water is clean on that date. New Jersey’s waters are clean and they are safe.

    State Health Department policy is to close a beach if two consecutive days of testing find high levels of bacteria. The environmental groups want rules amended to require health advisories after a single test shows water contamination.

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