Raw sewage exposure forces closure of Jersey shore beach

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BELMAR, N.J. — Officials say sewage overflow contaminated a New Jersey beach’s water with unsafe levels of bacteria, forcing its closure.

According to test results released Wednesday, bacteria counts at the beach in Belmar came in well over twice the safe swimming standard. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection tells the Asbury Park Press that raw sewage from a sewer line seeped into a storm drain — contaminating local waters.

If follow-up testing performed on Wednesday fails to clear the beach, it will be closed until the bacteria level subsides. Test results will be released Thursday afternoon.

New Jersey state officials perform weekly testing at 217 stations near public swimming beaches to identify potential bacteria hot spots.

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