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Beach Classifications

Each beach is assigned a classification, as listed below, by NYCDOHMH based on the evaluation and evidence of information provided by past history and existing water quality data and trends, including regional hydrodynamics, sanitary and safety surveys, known spills or pollution events, site conditions, frequency of use, beach length, and proximity to potential pollution sources and storm water discharges.

OPENOpen for Swimming and Bathing

All of the following conditions are considered in order for a beach to be classified as open and approved for bathing:

  1. Bathing beach water quality are in accordance with the following water quality standard for marine water beaches: Enterococci geometric mean shall not exceed 35 Colony Forming Units (CFU) per 100 ml for a series of five or more samples collected during a 30-day period.
  2. Sanitary and safety surveys conducted are satisfactory to the Department; and  
  3. The epidemiological history is satisfactory to the Department. No repeated complaints/reports of illness/injury received from the public or from owners/operators of bathing beaches.

WET WEATHER ADVISORYAdvisory – Wet-weather conditions, swimming and bathing not recommended

A Preemptive Standard is a threshold level of precipitation that, when exceeded, can lead to elevated levels of bacteria due to Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO's) and stormwater runoff, and may pose a public health risk. Swimming and bathing is not recommended in any area identified by the Department as being impacted by a Wet Weather Advisory, especially for people with underlying medical conditions and for young and elderly people who may be more likely to get sick if beach water is swallowed.

The Wet Weather Advisories are indicated as follows:

BeachRainfall LimitAdvisory
Duration
Orchard Beach, Bx>2.5 inches

24 hours

Manhattan Beach,
Kingsborough Community
College, Bklyn Midland
Beach, South Beach,
Cedar Grove Beach,  SI
1.5-2.5 inches

12 hours

>2.5 inches

24 hours

Coney Island, Bklyn>2.5 inches

12 hours

Gerritsen Beach, Bklyn
Whitestone Booster, Qns
0.3-0.6 inches

18 hours

>0.6 inches

40 hours

Douglaston, Qns0.3-0.6 inches

30 hours

0.6-2.5 inches

60 hours

>2.5 inches

72 hours

All Bronx Private Beaches0.6-2.5 inches

36 hours

>2.5 inches

48 hours

ADVISORYAdvisory – swimming and bathing not recommended

An Advisory is issued to notify the public against swimming and bathing when preliminary water quality assessment indicates that bacteria levels or other conditions may contribute to possible illness. DOHMH does not recommend swimming and bathing in areas identified as being impacted by an Advisory. NYCDOHMH will continue to monitor the beach to confirm if a public health risk is present. An Advisory is issued under the following conditions: when naturally occurring organisms or human influences may cause a continuous or reoccurring water quality exceedance, when a sanitary and safety survey or investigation reveals the presence of floatable debris, medical/infectious waste or toxic contaminants, petroleum products, and/or other contamination on the beach or evidence of sewage and wastewater discharge. Swimming and bathing is not recommended in any area identified by the Department as being impacted by an Advisory, especially for people with underlying medical conditions and for young and elderly people who may be more likely to get sick if beach water is swallowed.

CLOSEDClosed. Swimming and bathing temporarily not permitted.

City beaches may be classified as "Temporarily Restricted for Swimming and Bathing" when one or a combination of any of the following conditions exist:

  1. Confirmed samples show that bathing beach water quality exceeds the following water quality standard for marine water beaches: Enterococci geometric mean shall not exceed 35 Colony Forming Units (CFU) per 100 ml for a series of five or more samples collected during a 30-day period.
  2. Epidemiological data indicates a significant incidence of related illnesses or repeated complaints/reports of illness/injury received from beach patrons.
  3. Sanitary and Safety Survey/Investigation: A sanitary and safety survey or an investigation reveals the presence of potentially hazardous amounts of floatable debris, medical/infectious waste, toxic contaminants, petroleum products or other contamination on the beach, or there is evidence of sewage and wastewater discharge in sufficient quantities that will adversely affect the quality of the beach water.
  4. Any other environmental factors determined to be a public health or safety hazard by the NYCDOHMH.

Beaches can be contacted for Advisory status.