UPDATE: State officials discontinued the swimming ban at the 25th Street bay beach in Barnegat Light on Thursday.
After swimming advisories were issued Tuesday for five New Jersey beaches, state officials closed two Ocean County beaches on Wednesday due to unacceptable bacteria levels.
According to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s njbeaches.org, the closures are posted at the 25th Street Barnegat Bay beach in Barnegat Light and Windward Beach along the Metedeconk River in Brick.
“The closure applies to water activities like swimming, wading, and playing in the water. Other beach-related activities like sunbathing and walking on the beach are unaffected,” a state policy guide said.
The swimming advisories posted Tuesday at the 24th Street beach in North Wildwood, Montgomery Avenue beach in Wildwood, and the Mount Street beach in Bay Head all have been discontinued.
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.
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, especially rivers and bays, are typically susceptible to higher bacteria levels after rainfall and associated storm runoff. Rain moved through the Jersey Shore on Monday and Tuesday.
You can check water quality at your local beaches here.