BELMAR, NJ — The L Street beach along the Shark River is closed after yesterday’s flash flooding caused stormwater to overflow from the K Street drain on Route 35, according to the latest report by state environmental officials.

Except for listing the beach closed on its August 13 water quality report, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released no further information, including when the water will be tested for bacteria levels or when the river beach will reopen to recreational users.

The beaches along Belmar’s 1.3-mile oceanfront — located on the eastern side of this seashore community — were not affected by the heavy rains and remain open.

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Yesterday’s downpours flooded streets throughout Belmar, as it took time for the borough’s sewer and stormwater systems to handle the extremely high volume of water. Public works crews spent the day clearing and jetting the pipelines to help the drainage process as well.

The L Street beach was last closed for four days in late May when the same situation arose and stormwater overflowed from the K Street drain on Route 35 into the river. But because the overflow waters contained raw sewage, the high level of bacteria in the water found by the DEP created unsafe swimming conditions. 

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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