I thought that this information may be useful to the NJ riders out there, especially after all the rain we have been having. The link at the bottom will bring you to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) webpage for ocean water quality reports. When you reach the page you can scroll down and access the Ocean Monitoring Results for NJ beaches.
Once-a-week the NJ DEP tests water quality at select NJ beaches. If the bacteria levels are above a certain level, the beach must be retested the following day. If bacteria levels are above a certain level for two days in a row, the beach is shut down.
The problem is that we have been having a lot of rain since they last did the tests, so you should still be careful out there. Don't drink too much water!
thanks for the link. besides smelling like a toilet bowl, what are some other visible signs that the break you are sitting in and ducking under might have some sewage/bacteria issues?
example: mysto foam-- is brownish foam on the water necessarily a bad sign? fairly calm surf 2 weeks ago north of cape hatteras, but at times a non-stinking foam floated on the surface just past the shorepound. with no thumping swell happening outside, where the heck does this stuff come from? is this a sign that septic tanks are not containing quite everything?
am i paranoid? the latest "green issue" of surfing magazine had some rather alarming facts about ocean water pollution
As far as the strange foam in the surf, I have no idea whether it is an indication of water pollution, or a natural occurrence. I don't think that foam should generally be seen as an indication of pollution, since the phenomenon has been occurring for a very long time.
Keep in mind, I am not a water quality expert.
I do know that one indication of water quality may simply be the color of the water.
One example is when I was surfing at Belmar, NJ on Wednesday. Anyone who was out near 16th street knows that the water was clearly brown in color. I had not been out for the previous few days, but for the entirety of the summer, the water in Belmar was practically crystal clear. A feasible explanation for the water color being brown was that excess storm drainage was leaking into the ocean. I am not saying that the water was polluted, but there is a possibility...especially when 7th street had tested above the allowable levels on the 20th of August (check the DEP website).
Be careful when surfing during periods of heavy rain. Otherwise, the water quality in NJ is generally very good.
I saw the title of this thread and I wanted to add some stuff. I used to work for the Department of Health in NYC. The water quality in the tri-state area is generally good, however you'll notice the water quality decreases drastically after heavy rain. Some of this has to do with the fact that the sewage treatment plants in NYC cannot handle the increased flow and occassionally raw sewage is dumped into the Hudson, which will inevitably find it's way back to the Atlantic...too many people and too much s*&t in a small area. Some of it has to do with farming runoff and then there are just plain idiots who use their boats for recreational purposes and the heads aren't working properly.
It's not so much the bacteria that's an issue, but enteroviruses. So, if yo find yourself with an ear infection or a stomach bug after some stormy rain surfing - think of that crazy nurse on Swell Info. And don't drink the water!
there are definitely some water quality issues that can affect our waters, but its not nearly as bad as what socal surfers have to deal with after their rain events.
The groundwater runoff from the Delaware farms is a serious issue. The animal waste essentially gets absorbed into the groundwater, and It has been directly linked to major fish kills in the inland bays and is something that a lot of a energy is being spent on to alleviate the problem.