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May 22, 2019

All Jersey Shore beaches clear of feces-related bacteria headed into Memorial Day weekend

Beaches Water Quality
Jersey Shore water quality Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection tested all 215 beaches ahead of Memorial Day weekend and found the water quality at each to be safe for swimmers. Above, a woman walks her dog along the water in Ventnor, New Jersey.

If you've been dreaming about the ocean since Labor Day, here's some good news: All New Jersey beaches passed water quality tests conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 

NJDEP's Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program tested the water quality of 215 beaches on Monday and all results came back clean and safe for swimmers. New Jersey State Sanitary code requires that in each water sample the Enterococci bacteria levels not exceed 104 colony forming units of the bacteria per 100,000 milliliters.

The NJDEP conducts water quality tests every Monday throughout the summer

Enterococci is a bacteria found in human and animal feces and can be an indicator for contamination. Coming into contact with this bacteria can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and other flu-like symptoms. Rain runoff is typically responsible for higher levels of Enterococci.

When a sample shows elevated levels of bacteria, a beach is put under a swimming advisory. The water is then tested again the next day, and if the second sample show elevated levels of the bacteria, the beach is then closed until sample tests fall below the 104 CFU threshold. reported that 47 beaches were issued advisories last year for containing high levels of Enterococci bacteria. Four beaches were closed in August, and in 2017, the Jersey Shore had 28 beach closures. 

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