No water quality concerns at N.J. beaches following closures, advisories earlier this week

    Atlantic Ocean in N.J.

    The Atlantic Ocean off South Seaside Park on June 28, 2017. (Justin Auciello/WHYY)

    The water quality at all New Jersey beaches is acceptable for swimming as the weekend approaches. 

    The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection monitors bacterial levels at 209 bay, river, and ocean beaches at the Jersey Shore and issues advisories one day following an unacceptable bacteria level. 

    Since monitoring began in late May, 99.9% of beach days were open for bathing, according to the state’s

    But there have been some swimming advisories and beach closures.

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    Earlier this week, more than two dozen beaches were under swimming advisories and around a dozen were closed due to water samples exceeding a quality standard. 

    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.

    Some waterways are typically susceptible to higher bacteria levels after rainfall and associated storm runoff carrying animal waste. Onshore flow also pushes in offshore water and keeps near-shore water from flowing adequately out to sea.

    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.

    Heavy rain is in the forecast for Friday night through Saturday night, so beachgoers should be aware of the potential for more advisories or closures. 

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