L Street Beach faces closure due to raw sewage

Posted: Updated:
BELMAR -

Belmar officials may close the L Street Beach until solutions can be found after the state Department of Environmental Protection notified them of raw sewage running into the Shark River during times of flooding events.

The DEP's report found Belmar non-compliant with maintaining sewage systems running under the streets in the area.

The report found the borough cannot handle excess amounts during tidal flooding and heavy rainfall.

Administrator Ed Kirschenbaum says sanitary lines on L Street have already been replaced, and they are putting a plan together and trying to get grants to pay for the infrastructure upgrade.

Kirschenbaum says it's too early to see how much the plan will cost, but it will likely be in the millions of dollars.

Some environmental groups are calling for immediate action from the state.

"It shows we have a serious problem with old sewer pipes down the shore," says Jeff Tittel, of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "We need the state to step in and get it fixed, but we need a funding source to actually get it done. The state needs to lead on this otherwise we are going to have a summer season flushed down the drain."

Kirschenbaum says a final decision on whether to permanently close the beach until a plan is in place has not been made. However, expect to see the beach closed following heavy rainfall events.

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