High Bacteria Levels In The North, How Clean Is The South Jersey Ocean?

Earlier this week, two Ocean County beaches were subject to an advisory after officials found high levels of bacteria in the water, not to mention medical waste dumped ashore as well. With that in mind, how clean is the water in South Jersey?

The good news: it really couldn’t be better.

A great white shark swims off Cape May

The NJ DEP tests water at over 200 ocean and freshwater sites at least once a week. The maximum level is 104 colonies of enterococci per 100 milliliters of sample; a range is closed after two consecutive days of testing exceeding this limit.

In South Jersey, the most recent test results posted on the DEP website show that not only have no beach closings been reported, but there are no notices and almost all test sites have single-digit bacteria levels – some as low as two. .

In an occasional sample of test data from locations in Atlantic and Cape May counties, the highest values ​​we saw were 16 at some North Wildwood beaches, but, again, authorities do not trigger any alarms until this number reaches 104.

As for the beaches further north which had problems a few days ago, there are no more problems there. Five Ocean County beaches that were closed Wednesday after beached needles at The Brick reopened today.

If you’re going to enjoy a hot and humid summer day on the coast today, the ocean water temperature at Steel Pier in Atlantic City this morning was 72 degrees. The UV index is 9, which is pretty high, and there is a low risk of reverse currents – but, as always, only swim near a lifeguard and only when on duty.

More information on seawater testing can be found from the Atlantic County Health Division.

With previous reporting by Shannon Holly and Dan Alexander of Townsquare Media.

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