NEPTUNE — Four of five Monmouth County ocean beaches under advisories for high bacteria levels have come back with acceptable bacteria levels

The beaches were put under advisories by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday after testing showed high levels of enterococci, a type of bacteria found in animal and human waste.

Results from new samples came back Thursday as higher than normal at the Brown Avenue South in Spring Lake forcing the beach to be closed to swimmers per DEP policy. Officials did not know Thursday when the beach would be OK for the weekend.

Geese on Fletcher Lake located near the Broadway Ave beach in Ocean Grove
Geese on Fletcher Lake located near the Broadway Ave beach in Ocean Grove (Bud McCormick)

Advisories were lifted at the  Broadway and Spray Avenue beaches in Neptune, the public beach in Sea Bright, and and York Avenue in Spring Lake.

If the bacteria levels are high for a second day in a row, the beaches would likely be closed to swimmers .

DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said runoff from Saturday’s heavy rain is likely responsible for the increased bacteria. The water could have picked up bacteria from geese or a flock of seagulls, according to Hajna.

Ideal Beach in Middletown, a bay beach tested by Monmouth County's Health Department, has constantly tested high for contamination but is not under an advisory because it's not officially open for the season.

Testing in Middletown will continue until the source of the contamination is found.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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