SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBS) — All beaches in Seaside Heights are open once again after being closed due to a high level of fecal bacteria in the water.
Mayor Anthony Vaz said in a statement it was the first time in more than 20 years “we have had to suspend ocean bathing due to water quality.” He added that the heavy rains played a part in the negative water quality tests.
“The negative tests are apparently a result of either the unusually heavy rains earlier this week or the extremely clean ocean waters drawing a lot of bait fish along the beach, followed by enormous numbers of seagulls eating and rafting. The health people are further analyzing the results and will keep us informed,” said Vaz.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection says on its website that beaches must be closed “if two consecutive samples collected at a bathing beach exceed the state standard.”
“The New Jersey State Sanitary Code requires that the concentration of bacteria not exceed 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample. Enterococci is a type of bacteria that is an indicator of possible contamination within bathing waters,” the Department of Environmental Protection site reads.
The closures did not affect Seaside Heights’ bay beaches.