Aerial Bader

The back bays of Atlantic City and Ventnor were deemed safe for recreational activities Monday after water tests following a sewage leak that was stopped Thursday.

Dale Gerhard / staff photographer/

ATLANTIC CITY — Back bay areas behind Bader Field and the Downbeach section of Absecon Island have been reopened after a force main sewage leak, Atlantic County Utilities Authority officials announced Monday.

Water samples taken from 11 locations Sunday by the Atlantic City and Atlantic County health departments showed no elevated levels of the bacteria enterococci, an indicator organism used to determine if bodies of water are safe for swimming, the ACUA said in a news release.

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Enterococci is found naturally in the bodies of warm-blooded animals but can cause inflammation and conditions such as gastrointestinal illness, ear infections and conjunctivitis if exposed to other areas of the body.

The press release states restrictions on fishing, crabbing, kayaking and personal watercraft riding in the back bay area have been lifted by the Atlantic City Health Department and the City of Ventnor.

On Sept. 22, a sewer leak was discovered in a 30-inch main on the west side of Bader Field. The force main carried sewage from the Downbeach communities to the ACUA’s treatment center in Atlantic City. Officials advised residents to limit water usage and put a temporary restriction on recreational activities.

Last week, the DEP suspended harvest of shellfish from beds near Bader Field, since shellfish exposed to pollution pose a risk of illness.

The ACUA said a bypass was completed Thursday and the leak was stopped.

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Contact: 609-272-7286 LCarroll@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPress_LC

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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