Have you ever wonder about the quality and safety of the ocean along the coast of Atlantic County beaches? With summer now officially underway, it's a question many people have. Luckily, the waters off of Atlantic County’s beaches have received an “excellent” Ocean Water Quality rating. The Atlantic County Ocean Water Quality Program, in its twenty-fifth season, ensures safe bathing areas for residents and tourists who visit Atlantic County’s 14 miles of beaches from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Weekly results are easily accessible by accessing the county’s web site at www.aclink.org, by calling the seasonal toll-free hotline 1-800-633-SWIM or subscribing through the county’s email notification system. Results are also posted at area lifeguard stations.
“The ocean waters along Atlantic County’s coastline have traditionally been excellent. Water testing helps to ensure this as does the cooperation of our municipalities and beachgoers who pitch in to remove debris and litter that can foul beaches and ocean waters,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson.
“The Atlantic County Utilities Authority, which operates an NJDEP-certified laboratory, is pleased to partner with Atlantic County government in working to ensure safe bathing for all residents and visitors.”
The Atlantic County Ocean Water Quality Program is coordinated by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health in cooperation with the Atlantic City Health Department. Health Officials take weekly water quality samples at 42 different sites in Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport and Somers Point. Each water sample is tested for bacteria by the Atlantic County Utilities Authority according to standards set by the New Jersey State Department of Health.
The Ocean Water Quality Index includes the following five grades, based on the number of enterococcus bacteria per 100 milliliters of water:
Excellent, 0-26 bacteria count; Very Good, 27-52 bacteria count; Good, 53-78 bacteria count; Fair, 79-104 bacteria count; Poor, bacteria count above 104, waters closed to swimmers.
The index below reflects water testing samples from Monday, May 20, 2013:
Atlantic County Ocean Water Quality Index
Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
0-26 27-52 53-78 79-104 Above 104
Atlantic City 6
Rating: All Excellent
For more information on this program, visit www.aclink.org/publichealth/ocean or call the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5935.