TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Officials have now closed 15 beaches in New Jersey because of elevated bacteria levels.
The state Environmental Protection Department found high levels of bacteria Wednesday. Seven beaches in Atlantic City alone were closed. The series of shutdowns come after three beaches were closed for water quality issues Tuesday.
Environmental officials say heavy rains that result in runoff water containing chemicals and bird droppings is responsible for the spike in bacteria.
Atlantic County public health officer Patricia Diamond tells the Press of Atlantic City heavy rainfall on consecutive days puts a burden on the ocean. Diamond adds that bodies of water need a chance to recover.
The state will continue testing to determine when bacteria levels drop.
For a list of closed beaches, visit NJBeaches.org.
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