Water quality issues prompt Ocean County Health Department officials to issue swim advisories for bay and river beaches in Brick, Island Heights, Stafford, Beachwood and Seaside Park.

A beautiful sunny day at the beach in Ship Bottom, N.J. (Photo: Dan Zarrow, Townsquare Media)

According to the Health Department web page, samples taken Tuesday at the sites failed to meet water quality standards. Results of samples taken today will be released Thursday after evaluations are completed.

Swim advisories are in place at Windward Beach in Brick Township, the Summit Avenue beach in Island Heights, Fifth Avenue bay beach in Seaside Park, Beachwood Beach, and Jennifer Lane in Stafford.

Staffers test ocean, bay, river and lake waters on a rotating basis for fecal coliform and enterococcus levels. Each of the beaches involved demostrated elevated bacteria levels Tuesday.

No beaches have been reported closed, though swimming is permitted with the understanding that elevated bacteria levels present a potential health risk.

Beaches showing high bacteria levels are tested daily until results reflect normal levels.

Towns have the option to close beaches on the first day after tests are complete. County health officials generally close beaches if samples fail to meet standards for two straight days.

Health Department officials advise against swimming in beach waters for 24 hours after heavy raiinfalls.

Researchers today are conducting sanitary inspections to determine whether elevated bacteria levels stem from recent rain or from other factors.

In Monmouth County, high bacteria counts at Beach D in Gateway National Recreation Area keep it closed to swimmers, according to NJ Advance Media.

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