NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The National Resources Defense Council is out with its 23rd annual beachwater quality report.
The survey found there were nearly 1,900 closings or advisories issued at New York and New Jersey beaches last summer because of pollutants and serious contamination from stormwater runoff and sewage overflows.
“No one wants to go swimming in sewage on their summer vacation,” said NRDC senior attorney Lawrence Levine. “Polluted water is not only bad for people’s health, but bad for local business in beach communicates. By tackling contamination at its source—stormwater runoff—we can help prevent a trip to the shore from turning into a trip to the doctor.”
EXTRA: Read The Full Report
Levine told 1010 WINS people should use common sense when going to the beach and avoid swimming for at least 24 hours after a rainfall and 72 hours after heavy rains.
People should also stay away from beaches that have visible discharge pipes or if the water “looks or smells funny,” Levine said.
The report also rated beaches on a five-star system for “water quality and best practices for testing and public notification.”
The survey was conducted before superstorm Sandy struck on Oct. 29, dumping 11 billion gallons of sewage into Mid-Atlantic waterways.
“Superstorm Sandy hit last year after the close of beach season so it doesn’t show up really in the results of water quality tests that are collected in this report for last summer,” Levine told 1010 WINS.
The storm destroyed beach infrastructure throughout the region. Many beaches have been repaired and reopened, but nine remain closed as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
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