Report: Fecal bacteria counts spike to unsafe levels at 61 New Jersey beaches

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NEW JERSEY — Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

According to a report in the Asbury Park Press, testing data released by the state of New Jersey found that fecal bacteria counts at 61 ocean, bay, and river beaches along the Jersey Shore spiked to unsafe levels.

That means one out of three beaches along the shore could be unfit for swimming on Tuesday, because contact with the water could cause illness, the APP reported. It’s the second consecutive week where bacteria linked to human and animal waste spiked to the point where public health advisories were issued by the state for its beaches.

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued 47 bacteria advisories. Fourteen other beaches logged unacceptably high bacteria counts, but those locations are not yet open for the season, the APP says.

The bacteria counts below show how beaches performed on Monday. Anything at or above 104 colony-forming units (cfu) is considered unsafe for bathers.

Monmouth County

  • Highlands, Community center, 130 cfu
  • Long Branch, Elberon Beach Club, 810 cfu
  • Long Branch, South Bath, 600 cfu
  • Long Branch, North Bath, 600 cfu
  • Long Branch, Joline, 440 cfu
  • Long Branch, Atlantic Avenue, 390 cfu
  • Long Branch, Ocean Beach Club, 380 cfu
  • Deal, Deal Casino, 310 cfu
  • Deal, Philips Avenue, 260 cfu
  • Deal, Hathaway Avenue, 190 cfu
  • Loch Arbour, Village Beach Club, 150 cfu
  • Neptune, Broadway, 130 cfu
  • Spring Lake, Brown Avenue, 240 cfu
  • Spring Lake, York Avenue, 120 cfu

Ocean County

  • Point Pleasant, river beach, 600 cfu
  • Point Pleasant Beach, Maryland, 150 cfu
  • Brick, Windward, 635 cfu
  • Beachwood, west, 600 cfu
  • Pine Beach, Station Avenue, 170 cfu
  • Ocean Gate, Wildwood, 600 cfu
  • Ocean Gate, Angelsea, 600 cfu
  • Berkeley, Berkeley Island, 600 cfu
  • Pine Beach, Avon Road, 380 cfu
  • Toms River, Shelter Cove, 220 cfu
  • Seaside Park, 5th Avenue (bayside), 170 cfu

Atlantic County

  • Atlantic City, Dover, 320 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Missouri, 315 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Bartram , 292 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Texas, 250 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Albany (oceanside), 210 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Michigan, 205 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Illinois, 190 cfu
  • Atlantic City, Kentucky, 125 cfu
  • Ventnor City, Austin, 200 cfu
  • Ventnor City, Dorset, 185 cfu
  • Margate, Clermont, 170 cfu
  • Margate, Gladstone, 160 cfu

Cape May County

  • Wildwood, Montgomery, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood, Bennett, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood Crest, Jefferson, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood Crest, Lavendar, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood Crest, Hollywood, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood Crest, Forgetmenot, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood Crest, Orchid, 120 cfu
  • Wildwood Crest, Miami, 120 cfu
  • Ocean City, 16th St., 120 cfu
  • Ocean City, Park, 120 cfu
  • Ocean City, 28th St., 120 cfu
  • Ocean City, 24th St., 120 cfu
  • Cape May, Grant, 120 cfu
  • Cape May, Philadelphia, 120 cfu
  • Cape May, Congress , 120 cfu
  • Upper Township, Beesley’s Point, 120 cfu
  • Lower Township, Richmond Avenue, 120 cfu

According to the APP, the beaches were tested again on Tuesday. The results of the latest tests were expected to be released Wednesday afternoon.

These tests are probing for enterococcus, a bacteria that grows inside the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals and can be found alongside their feces. Illnesses could take the form of stomach cramps, rashes, or ear or eye infections, the APP says.

Every week during the summer, New Jersey officials take samples of water from every lifeguarded beach in the state. The Asbury Park Press shares those results every Tuesday afternoon.