Is It Safe To Go In The Ocean This Weekend?
You may remember that last summer, several New Jersey beaches had to be closed due to high levels of bacteria in the water. As we head into Memorial Day weekend, NJ.com reports that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has tested the water at 215 of the state's beaches.
So, the question is..."Is it safe to go in the ocean this weekend?" Well, in terms of bacteria, the DEP says "YES." All of the beaches passed the DEP's tests.
If a beach fails a test, it is placed under a swimming advisory and retested the following day. If it fails 2 days in a row, the beach is closed.
NJ.com says that "stormwater runoff from rain is usually the reason for elevated levels of bacteria" and that contact with high bacteria can cause "gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, respiratory symptoms like sore throat, cough, runny nose, and sneezing, eye and ear symptoms including irritation, earache, and itchiness, dermatological symptoms like skin rash and itching, and flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills."
The DEP tests New Jersey's beaches every Monday during "beach season."