Tests Reveal Contaminated Water Problem No Longer An Issue; All Wristband Fees Waived And Free Day Passes Issued For Future Use

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — People in Seaside Heights were sweating it out late Thursday morning, after being told they couldn’t go in the water.

But that didn’t last as Mayor Anthony Vaz announced at around 2 p.m. that the swimming ban had been lifted, CBS2’s Clark Fouraker reported.

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New Jersey health officials had said the contaminated water was not safe, but later tests showed that no longer to be the case.

The boardwalk had been quiet as the water was closed throughout all 16 blocks of Seaside Heights beaches. Hoping for better news later, beach goers set up chairs and got some sun.

Health officials temporarily closed the beaches in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, on Aug. 16, 2018, due to water contamination. (Photo: CBS2)

The Department of Environmental Protection and Ocean County Board of Health did the testing.

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A high level of bacterial in the water led to the closures, because people could have gotten sick if they had ingested the contaminated water, officials said.

The problem was happening because of calmer ocean waters the last couple of days. The lack of tides had basically prevented the water from cleaning itself and pulling waste out to sea and away from the beach.

“This past week there’s been a lot of seagulls eating the bait fish, and what I’ve heard is there’s a lot of seagull waste in the water that caused the bacterial levels to go up,” said John Foy of Toms River.

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Seaside Heights waived all wristband fees on Thursday and was giving folks who showed up a free day pass to use in the future.