Here's some very positive news as we start the South Jersey tourist season this Memorial Day Weekend.The first water quality ratings for Atlantic county's 14 miles of beaches are in and the results are excellent.  The Atlantic County Water Quality Program, in it's 24th season, takes water quality samples from 34 different sites in Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor,... Margate, Longport and Somers Point.

I've been sorting through the results of the test, which get a little technical, but here is a basic overview...

The Ocean Water Quality Index includes the following five grades, based on the number of enterococcus bacteria per 100 milliliters of water:

Excellent, 0-26 bacteria count; Very Good, 27-52 bacteria count; Good, 53-78 bacteria count; Fair, 79-104 bacteria count; Poor, bacteria count above 104, waters closed to swimmers.


Here are the results of this year's first water quality tests. The index below reflects water testing samples from Monday, May 21, 2012:

Atlantic County Ocean Water Quality Index

Excellent     Very Good     Good             Fair              Poor

0-26               27-52           53-78            79-104     Above 104

Atlantic City              11

Brigantine                 3

Longport                    3

Margate                      5

Ventnor                      3

Rating:                       All Excellent

You can follow weekly results at the Atlantic County web site , www. or  by calling the toll-free hotline 1-800-633-SWIM.