BELMAR, NJ — Green flags will be flying on Belmar’s L Street Beach along Route 35 for the Memorial Day weekend.
The borough was notified this week by the Monmouth County Health Department that the river beach has passed two mandatory preseason water quality sampling tests, under the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP).
“The bathing beach meets the water quality requirements to open as a recreational bathing beach,” Nelson Santiago, the county’s assistant environmental health coordinator, wrote in a May 21 email to Belmar Business Administrator Edward Kirschenbaum.
The news comes after the borough has spent more than a month working to identify the cause of sewage overflow in the area of Route 35 and K Street — flooding the L Street beach and emptying into the Shark River — during heavy rains. While the situation had been an issue over the years, it took greater prominence following a DEP inspection last December that found numerous violations related to the operation of the borough’s sewage collection system.
In response, the borough has cleaned and sealed the pipelines in the residential area known as Rhode Island Point and repaired the 11th Avenue pumping station after years of being inoperable.
Since the work was completed earlier this month, there has been no flooding of Route 35 into the river during significant rainfalls, according to borough officials.
Last year, sewage overflow caused by heavy rains triggered two separate four-day closures – right after Memorial Day from May 29 through June 1 and then from August 14 through 18.
CCMP launched for the season this week, with recreational beach water quality being monitored by county health departments at about 180 ocean and 35 bay monitoring stations along the Jersey Shore through mid-September.
Weekly water 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 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.
In Belmar, monitoring stations are located along the oceanfront at Fifth, 12th and 20th Avenues, as well as the L Street beach on the Shark River.
For more information on CCMP and current beach closings, visit its website by clicking here.
TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.