The Atlantic County Ocean Water Quality Program celebrates its 31st season this summer, providing weekly reports on bacterial samples taken from ocean waters on beaches along Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport, from mid-May through Labor Day. Somers Point Bay beach is also sampled as part of the program. Beaches that remain open and guarded after Labor Day are sampled until closed for the season.
Atlantic County, along with the other New Jersey coastal counties, participates in the federal Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program or CCMP. Ocean water samples are normally taken on Monday by County Health and Atlantic City Health Department staff. Laboratory results are received mid-day Tuesday and are sent directly to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Statewide sample results are available Tuesday afternoon online at: www.njbeaches.org
The New Jersey Recreational Bathing code standard for the indicator Enterococci bacteria is not to exceed 104 colony forming units / 100 mL of sample. Citizens can easily check sampling results for their favorite beaches at the above NJDEP website. The website also contains information on advisories and other situations affecting the use of a beach such as dredging projects, etc.
Water quality for Atlantic County beaches during the past 31 years, with a few exceptions, has been excellent. Those few exceptions normally follow a period of heavy rainfall. In the event bacteria levels exceed the standard, resampling will take place on the same day results are received. Swimming advisories are posted at those beaches exceeding standard. Beaches are closed if samples taken on two consecutive days at a bathing beach exceed the water quality standard. Beach closings remain in effect until subsequent sampling indicates bacteria levels are again below the standard.
The Ocean Water Quality Program is an annual project of the Atlantic County Division of Public Health in cooperation with the Atlantic City Health Department and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority Laboratory staff. Atlantic County also works closely with municipal officials in timely reporting of sampling results and coordinating appropriate action when conditions may not be ideal for swimming. For additional information contact County Health Officer Patricia Diamond at (609) 645-5935.
Atlantic County’s natural resources offer a variety of recreational opportunities for people of all ages.
Enjoy 14 miles of sandy, white beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
Beaches in Atlantic County
And choose from several locations for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
Fishing in Atlantic County
For more information about ocean water quality from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection visit www.njbeaches.org.