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Seaside Heights beaches reopen to swimming; bacteria levels now safe

Posted: Updated:
SEASIDE HEIGHTS -

Ocean beaches in Seaside Heights reopened for swimming Thursday afternoon after being closed most of the day due to water quality concerns.

Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz says testing found elevated fecal bacteria levels in the waters. He says the problems were likely due to heavy rains spawned by recent severe storms or calm waters that attracted bait fish and seagulls to the beach.

Testing done Thursday afternoon confirmed that the bacteria levels were back down to safe levels.

RELATED: Ocean County Health Department tests ocean for bacteria levels

Vaz says this is the first time in more than 20 years that the town's ocean beaches were closed to swimmers. Bay beaches were still open to swimming.

The town suspended beach access fees Thursday, and everyone who came there got a free beach pass that can be used at a later date.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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