Environmental report says Beachwood Beach West on Toms River had high levels of bacteria

A new report finds that more than half of the water samples collected at Beachwood Beach West last year had bacteria levels high enough to make swimmers sick. (6/26/14)

BEACHWOOD - A new report finds that more than half of the water samples collected at Beachwood Beach West last year had bacteria levels high enough to make swimmers sick.

The report by an environmental group called the National Resources Defense Council finds that 52 percent of water samples taken at the beach exceeded fecal bacteria levels allowed for swimming.  

The beach, which is on the Toms River, is open this season, but parents say they will still take precautions after allowing kids in the water. Jessica Vroom brought her daughter there to swim, but she doesn't want her going underwater. "I just let her play, make sure she doesn't drink the water," she says.

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Part of the problem at the beach is geese droppings, which lifeguards must clean up daily. Beachwood officials say the geese are protected, leaving them few options.

Two drainage pipes also create a problem because they dump stormwater pollution into the water.  But Council Member Jerry Lacrosse, who is in charge of the beach, tells News 12 New Jersey that there's a plan in place to move the pipes.

Contact with high bacteria levels could cause flu-like symptoms, skin rash, pink eye and respiratory infections. It's also possible to contract meningitis or hepatitis, according to the report.

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