The water was warm and refreshing but we were careful not to get our mouths in and we washed off immediately afterward.
Because beaches along the Raritan Bay are not subject to regular water quality testing because the beaches are not classified as “bathing” beaches, in part because they do not have lifeguards.
Union Beach has a lovely, sandy beach with
volleyball courts and other recreational amenities but if you work up a sweat and want to cool off, you have no way of knowing
if the water quality safe or not. As
part of our Raritan Bay Initiative we call on the State to fund regular water quality
testing of beaches where people swim but there are not lifeguards.
Baykeeper monitored the non-bathing beaches for two years and have data showing that people do, in fact, swim at the Raritan Bay’s beaches but have no way of knowing if the water is safe. Under New Jersey State Sanitary Code (NJAC 8:26-1) water quality testing is not required at beaches without lifeguards because they are not classified as bathing beaches. Residents of towns that cannot afford lifeguards should not be penalized by risking their health when swimming.What do you think? Should the state test beaches along the Raritan Bay?