Ocean Water Sampling Program
To ensure the waters at ocean and bay public beaches are safe to swim in, trained Environmental Health staff sample designated sites in the water along the beaches of Brigantine, Longport, Margate, Somers Point and Ventnor. Waters in Atlantic City are sampled by the Atlantic City Health Department. Sampling is performed every week beginning 2 weeks prior to Memorial Day Weekend (our unofficial start of the summer season) and continues through Labor Day and until beaches are no longer being guarded. The waters are tested for enterococcus bacteria under standards that are set by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS). Samples that exceed the standard of 104 enterococci must be resampled. Consecutive samples that exceed the standard require closing of the beach until a sample is within the standard.
Atlantic County participates in the statewide Coastal Cooperative Monitoring Program (CCMP) that is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) along with the NJDHSS and local environmental health agencies. The local agencies perform the sampling and provide the results to the NJDEP.
Since 1988, the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, in cooperation with the Atlantic City Health Department, has provided residents and visitors with results and beach information through the award winning Ocean Water Quality Program. The highlight of the program is the Ocean Water Quality Index, created by County and City health officials to provide the public with accurate, easily understandable information on the quality of our ocean water. Information is posted on the County website, on the back of lifeguard stands, at lifeguard stations and is released to the media. Through a toll free hotline, 1-800-633-SWIM, the public can call for the latest information on ocean water quality. The Ocean Water Quality Index is divided into 5 grades based on the number of enterococcus bacteria per 100 millimeters of water.
Our ocean and bay waters are consistently excellent. We are proud of our beaches here in Atlantic County and think that they are the best in the State!
N.J.A.C. 8:26-1 et seq. - State Sanitary Code Chapter IX - Public Recreational Bathing
Ocean Water Quality Testing Page
Forms and Documents: