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Shore Beaches Undergo Water Quality Tests [AUDIO]

Since Sandy, health officials around the state have been keeping a close watch on water quality in our streams, lakes, bays and oceans, and with thousands expected to hit the beach this Memorial Day weekend, some are wondering, “Is the water safe?”

ocean in Long Branch
Ocean in Long Branch, NJ (Townsquare Media)

Every week during the Summer, the Ocean County Health Department takes water samples for bacteria testing, to make sure it’s safe for swimmers. However, this year is very different thanks to Sandy.

Crews are continuing to pull debris out of the water. While officials feel things will be ready for this weekend, there is one caveat.

“Our testing began back in January and continues even now,” Health Department Spokesperson Leslie Terjesen said. “Back on May 12th, we started our beach water quality testing for various forms of bacteria. We will say this – while the beaches will be open, swimming may or may not be possible depending on the water quality testing readings.”

“We will keep the public up to date about potential problems. As of right now, we don’t foresee any issues.”

While that debris is still coming out of the places where many of us like to take a dip, there is a new concern that some of that debris could put swimmers at risk of getting hurt.

“If anyone sees anything floating in the water, give our office a call – and alert an on duty lifeguard.”

Since Sandy struck, the department has been working alongside the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, including alerts as to whether the beaches will be open or not, visit the Health Department website.

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