Ocean County Health Officials Will Be Testing Water At Beaches Every Week This Summer
You wouldn't want to swim in water that looks or smells dirty right?
Most people wouldn't.
To ensure swimming beaches are clean and good to go throughout the summer the Ocean County Health Department has announce they have a group of water inspectors who will be testing the waters on a weekly basis.
The OCHD will be running tests coming up via the Coastal Cooperative Monitoring Program.
Ocean County has a lot of great beaches to soak up the sun and go for a swim, 67-bathing beach locations among that list which will be continuously tested between now and Labor Day.
The Ocean County Health Department reports that last year, the CCMP locations did pretty well over all with a pass rate of over 95%.
You can follow along with them this summer as test results come in this summer by going to www.njbeaches.org and www.ochd.org and be sure to check those pages the day and two days after a rain storm.
Sometimes fecal bacteria may surface in certain locations or other pollutants.
"People can’t wait to get back to our beautiful bathing beaches we have here in Ocean County now that the warm weather is upon us” Ocean County Commissioner Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, said in a statement. “Whether you are a local or a visitor, the Ocean County Health Department will ensure the only water you’re swimming in will be safe for you and your family.”
“The OCHD wants everyone to experience and enjoy the more than 40 miles of beautiful Ocean County beaches and other recreational waterways in a safe and healthy environment,” Dan Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer, said in a statement. The CCMP is such an important quality control mechanism that is vital to tourism, ecology, species habitat and our robust fishing industry.”
Here are some other facts on the CCMP, courtesy of the Ocean County Health Department.
- The OCHD Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program is funded through a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection grant that started back in 1974.
- The CCMP remains one of the nation’s longest running and most comprehensive beach testing programs with zero cost to the health department.
- Each week the OCHD tests water samples from the county’s salt and freshwater swimming beaches.
- The water is tested for two types of bacteria - enterococcus and E.coli. If the results come back with higher than acceptable levels, the water is immediately retested and the town notified.
- After the second high reading, the beach is closed and tested daily until bacteria levels return to normal.
The Ocean County Health Department has also released some guidance on when and when not to swim this summer as well as rules for you to follow.
- Continue to observe any COVID-19 safety precautions; for specific beach openings, safety protocols and capacity limitations please check with local or municipal authorities.
- Do not dispose of masks, trash, pet waste, or dirty diapers on the beach.
- Observe swimming advisories; do not enter the water at a beach under a swimming advisory.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming; natural waters may contain disease-causing organisms that can cause gastrointestinal illness if swallowed.
- Avoid swimming for a few days after heavy rainfall; bacteria levels are likely to be high and disease-causing organisms are more likely to be present after rainfall due to pollution from land runoff and other sources.
- Prevent direct contact of cuts and open wounds; natural waters may contain disease-causing organisms that may cause skin infections.
- Do not swim if you are ill or have a weakened immune system; some organisms are opportunistic and may only cause illness when you are already ill or your immune system is weakened.
- Shower with soap after swimming; showering helps remove potential disease-causing organisms.
- Swim away from fishing piers, pipes, drains, and water flowing from storm drains onto a beach.
In addition to getting the scoop of daily water quality reports for every beach at www.ochd.org you can call the OCHD hotline available anytime at 732-341-9700 extension 7776 or at 1-800-342-9738, extension 7776.