Updated August 17, 2018, as of 6:45 a.m.

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar’s L Street beach remains closed for a fifth day by state environmental protection officials who continue to monitor bacteria levels found in water samples.

The concentration of fecal bacteria did not meet state standards based on N.J. Department of Environmental testing performed on August 15 in the Shark River waters off the beach.

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The borough's 21 ocean beaches have not been affected and remain open, as water samples taken at the Fifth, 12th  and 20th Avenue beaches continue to meet state standards.

DEP regulations require that the concentration not exceed 104 colonies of enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters of the sample. The L Street beach test results of August 15 showed an overall level of 130 colonies, but a level of 240 at its eastern monitoring station and a level of 170 at its western station. Testing results were not yet available for August 16.

The beach was closed on August 13 after more than 6 inches of rain fell in Belmar in less than three hours, causing stormwater to overflow from the nearby K Street drain on Route 35 into the river waters. The heavy rains flooded streets throughout Belmar, as it took time for its sewer and stormwater systems to handle the extremely high volume of water.

Each week, recreational beach water quality monitoring by the DEP is performed at about 180 ocean and 35 bay monitoring stations along the Jersey Shore. Samples are analyzed for the presence of enterococci, a type of bacteria found in animal and human waste that is an indicator of possible contamination of bathing waters, according to the cooperative coastal monitoring program.

When a sample exceeds the state standard, a swimming advisory is issued and additional sampling is conducted and continues each day until the sample result is below the level. If two consecutive daily samples exceed the standard, the bathing beach closes until sample results are below the standard.

For more information on the program and current beach closings, visit its website by clicking here.

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