These three New Jersey beaches under water quality advisories over fecal bacteria

Update: Seaside Park bayside beach deemed safe for swimming

Three Jersey Shore beaches are under swimming advisories on Wednesday, May 29, due to high levels of fecal bacteria found in water samples.

Each of the three beaches had high levels of enterococci bacteria, a pathogen common in the feces and intestines of animals. The bacteria is used as an indicator species to signify the likelihood that other illness-causing microbes, viruses or parasites are present in water.

Swimming and bathing advisories are triggered when levels of enterococci bacteria exceed 104 colony forming units per 100 milliliters of water.

A fisherman prepares his line at Bath Avenue beach in Long Branch Tuesday, May 29, 2018.
A fisherman prepares his line at Bath Avenue beach in Long Branch Tuesday, May 29, 2018.

The three beaches with swimming advisories are: the Fifth Avenue bayside beach in Seaside Park, the 18th Avenue beach in North Wildwood and Forget-Me-Not Beach in Wildwood Crest.

People who swim in fecal bacteria-contaminated water are at risk of gastroenteritis, which causes vomiting, nausea, stomach cramping, diarrhea and other symptoms, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Swimming in contaminated water can also lead to ear, eye, nose or throat infections, according to the agency.

People with weakened immune systems, such as young children and elderly adults, are at particularly high risk of getting sick from contact with contaminated water, according to the EPA.

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Untreated sewage from leaking pipes and septic systems as well as animal waste that washes into streams and lakes with rain are two common causes of enterococci-related beach pollution, according to the agency.

Each of the beaches remains open to the public and will be resampled on Wednesday. Results will not be available until Thursday.

Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers education and the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than 15 years. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, aoglesby@gannettnj.com or 732-557-5701.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Swimming advisories issued at three New Jersey beaches