(UPDATE) Bathing ban lifted at 8th, 9th and 10th streets

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(UPDATE 1:15 p.m.) According to the Cape May County Department of Health, the bathing ban has been lifted.  Tests showed bacteria levels did not exceed acceptable limits.

OCEAN CITY – For the second time this summer, a localized leak in the city’s sewer system has necessitated a temporary restriction of bathing at a protected beach. After bacteria tests came back acceptable, the ban was lifted.

City officials announced Monday morning, Aug. 6 that the Eighth and Ninth Street beaches, the area surrounding the Music Pier, would be closed to bathing due to a grease blockage in a sewer line.

“There was a blockage and as a result, material from the sewer was discharged into the storm drain system,” Jim Mallon, the city's director of community services, explained Monday.

Material from this storm drain goes into the ocean at Ninth Street through two outfall pipes on either side of the Music Pier.

On Tuesday morning, the city announced that due to tidal conditions during the night, that 10th Street would also be closed.

“As of this morning, we have three beaches closed,” Mallon said Tuesday. “We're hoping to be able to re-open all three beaches by this afternoon.”

By Tuesday afternoon, the ban was lifted. Tests from the county department of health showed bacteria levels did not exceed acceptable limits.

The city closed the Stenton Place beach to bathers Monday, July 30 due to a localized sewer leak on an adjacent street. The test results were negative, and the city allowed bathers to return to the water on Stenton Place beach Tuesday afternoon, July 31.

“It’s a similar situation,” Mallon said. “As a precaution, we have to close access to the water.”

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