NEW JERSEY — Storm water tested at 47 New Jersey state beaches showed higher levels of fecal bacteria, pushing those beaches a step closer to banning swimming altogether.
The water samples contained more than 104 colony forming units (cfu) of Enterococci, which is a bacteria usually found in animal or human waste, the Department of Environmental Protection said.
The New Jersey State Sanitary Code requires that the concentration of bacteria not exceed 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample, according to the DEP report.
The first test was conducted Monday. If two consecutive samples collected at the same beaches exceed the state standard, beach closings will remain in effect until the samples show bacteria levels are below the standard, according to the DEP.
The following beaches are at risk for closure:
- Atlantic City: Dover Avenue, Michigan Avenue, Texas Avenue, Chelsea Avenue,Missouri Avenue,Illinois Avenue, Bartram Avenue, Albany Avenue, Kentucky Avenue
- Maragate City: Clermont Avenue, Osborne Avenue, Gladstone Avenue
- Ventnor City: Dorset Avenue, Washington Avenue, Austin Avenue, New Haven Avenue
Cape May County
- Cape May: Grant Street, Philadelphia Avenue, Queen Street North
- Lower Township: Richmond Avenue
- Wildwood: Montgomery Avenue, Bennett Avenue
- Wildwood Crest: Jefferson Avenue, Miami Avenue, Orchid Road, Hollywood Avenue, Forget Me Not Road, Lavender Road
- Deal: Hathaway Avenue, Phillips Avenue, Deal Casino,
- Loch Arbour: Village Beach Club
- Long Branch: Joline Avenue, Elberon Beach Club, South Bath Avenue, North Bath Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, Ocean Beach Club,
- Neptune (Ocean Grove): Broadway
- Sea Girt: Neptune Place
- Spring Lake: Brown Avenue South, York Avenue
- Brick: Windward Beach (River),
- Pine Beach: East Beach Station Avenue (River)
- Point Pleasant Borough: Maryland Avenue
- Seaside Park: 5th Avenue (Bay)
- Toms River: Shelter Cove (Bay)
The DEP warns that swimming in the polluted water can cause a number of issues, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain; respiratory symptoms like sore throat, cough, runny nose, and sneezing; eye and ear symptoms like irritation, earache, and itchiness; dermatological symptoms like skin rash and itching; and flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills.
These symptoms are minor most of the time, the DEP said, but sometimes can be more serious, especially in children and the elderly.
The DEP warned beachgoers to avoid swimming with open sores, and advised them to see a health official if a cut does become infected after water exposure.