Contaminated NJ beaches closed to swimming — for how long?
💧 Recent heavy rains are to blame for bringing waste to the water
💧 The beaches are still open
Heavy thunderstorms of the past week are having another impact: closing beaches to swimming.
Three New Jersey lake beaches are closed because of algae blooms and swimming is banned at a Jersey Shore beach because of a high level of bacteria.
Beaches at Round Valley State Park in Lebanon, Cozy Lake in Jefferson and Greenwood Lake in West Milford all tested above an acceptable level.
Harmful algae blooms can discolor the water or produce floating mats or "scums" on surface, according to the DEP.
The blooms are likely the result of recent heavy rainfall carrying nutrient-rich stormwater into the water, followed by spans of warm weather.
Exposure to blooms may cause allergy-like reactions, flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis, respiratory irritation, and eye irritation. The water should not be ingested by animals or humans. Fish caught in the affected lakes should also not be consumed.
Hancock Beach in Seaside Heights, also known as Sunrise Beach, has been closed for swimming after samples tested by the DEP had a higher level of fecal bacteria for the second test in a row.
Heavy rains can bring runoff creating a buildup in the water of waste from geese, seagulls, and other animals.
A beach goes under advisory after testing once above the minimum of 104 colonies of Enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample.
A beach in Long Beach Township and two in Atlantic City were under advisory but their bacteria level came down to acceptable levels tests of samples taken Tuesday.