Swimming advisory lifted in Somers Point after high bacteria levels found

A swimming advisory has been lifted at a beach in Somers Point, N.J. after high bacteria levels were found earlier this week during routine testing.

Follow up tests came back normal on Wednesday, prompting officials to lift the advisory.

Students at Jordan Road School in Somers Point were having an end of the year beach day at Municipal Beach Park on Great Egg Harbor Bay, but teachers put out an extra warning this morning to stay away from the water.

"We just warned the kids, you can go near the water but don't go in the water. If you get your hands wet, make sure you wash your hands before you eat," said teacher Emily Ford.

Tests done Monday at this beach showed high bacteria levels, prompting a swimming advisory. Follow up tests came back normal.

From May through Labor Day water samples are tested at New Jersey Beaches every Monday.

Folks in Somers Point work with the Atlantic County and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to keep track.

Wes Swain, the Somers Point City Administrator said, "If the levels of fecal coliform are higher than a certain reading which I believe is 104 parts per million, we get an advisory."

Meaning "swim at your own risk," and notices are posted.

If follow up tests are still high, the beach is closed until the levels go back down.

"I've been city administrator here since 1995 and we've had less than 10 times that the beach has been closed," said Swain.

Officials say a number of factors could affect bacteria levels.

Swain explained, "Water does run into the bay off the streets. It can be people walking their dogs, it could be anything that's happening in the ocean or the bay."

Swimming advisories or closures for any beach in the state can be found at New Jersey Beaches.
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