BELMAR — Heavy rains may have caused high levels of bacteria at Jersey Shore beaches, causing officials to close five of them Wednesday morning and to place 17 others under advisory.

A beach is closed after two consecutive days of results that exceed the state standard of 104 colonies per 100 milliliters per sample. Beaches under advisory mean they have tested positive for high levels of bacteria for one day and results are pending for the following day.

Levels of Enterococci bacteria at the 193 beaches monitored by the Department of Environmental Protection's Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program tend to spike in some locations because of a build-up of waste from geese, seagull and other animals following heavy rains.

Some of the higher levels were also spiked by the gates to Wreck Pond being opened to allow water to flow to the ocean, officials said. Trenches were also dug into the beach in Sea Girt. 

Closed beaches

MONMOUTH COUNTY

    • Belmar Borough Beach (river): L Street Beach
    • Sea Girt Borough: The Terrace (ocean)
    • Sea Girt:  Beacon Blvd (ocean)
    • Spring Lake: Brown Ave (ocean)
    • Spring Lake: York Ave (ocean)

 

Beaches under advisory

ATLANTIC COUNTY

  • Brigantine City: 26th St (bay)
  • Somers Point City: New Jersey Ave (bay)

CAPE MAY COUNTY

  • Upper Township: Beesley's Point Beach (bay)

MONMOUTH COUNTY

  • Bradley Beach Borough: Ocean Park (ocean)
  • Loch Arbour Village: Village Beach Club (ocean)
  • Sea Girt Borough: Baltimore (ocean)
  • Spring Lake Borough Essex Ave (ocean)

OCEAN COUNTY

  • Long Beach Township: New Jersey (bay)
  • Ocean Gate Borough: Anglesea (river)
  • Ocean Gate Borough:Beach: Wildwood (river)
  • Pine Beach Borough: West Beach Avon Rd (river)
  • Pine Beach Borough: East Beach Station Ave (river)
  • Point Pleasant  Beach: Maryland (ocean)
  • Point Pleasant  Beach: Central (ocean)
  • Seaside Heights Borough: Sheridan (ocean)
  • Seaside Heights Borough:: Hancock (ocean)
  • Seaside Heights Borough:Lincoln Ave (ocean)