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.
All of the following conditions are considered in order for a beach to be classified as open and approved for swimming and wading:
- Beach water quality is 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.
- Sanitary and safety surveys conducted are satisfactory to the Department; and
- The epidemiological history is satisfactory to the Department. No repeated complaints/reports of illness/injury received from the public or from owners/operators of beaches.
The Health Department declares an Advisory when swimming and wading are NOT RECOMMENDED. It does not mean that the beach is closed. Contacting water contaminated with elevated levels of bacteria may cause illnesses such as vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory illness or infections. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and the chronically ill are at higher risk. An advisory may be issued based on one or a combination of the following conditions:
When preliminary water quality assessment indicate naturally occurring organisms or human influences may be causing 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.
Wet Weather Conditions – following a period of heavy rainfall, which could lead to sewer overflows and storm runoff from streets and other land surfaces which predictably cause elevated levels of bacteria in some beach waters. The following wet weather conditions result in Advisory declarations:
|Orchard Beach, Bx||>2.5 inches|
College, Bklyn Midland
Beach, South Beach,
Cedar Grove Beach, SI
|Coney Island, Bklyn||>2.5 inches|
|Gerritsen Beach, Bklyn|
Whitestone Booster, Qns
|Douglaston, Qns||0.3-0.6 inches|
|All Bronx Private Beaches||0.6-2.5 inches|
City beaches may be classified as "Restricted for Swimming and Wading" when one or a combination of any of the following conditions exist:
- Confirmed samples show that 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.
- Epidemiological data indicates a significant incidence of related illnesses or repeated complaints/reports of illness/injury received from beach patrons.
- 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.
- Any other environmental factors determined to be a public health or safety hazard by the NYCDOHMH.
Beaches can be contacted for Advisory status.