Bacteria Monitoring

Enterococci bacteria, though not harmful themselves, indicate the presence of fecal contamination and potentially harmful bacteria in the water. These harmful bacteria are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, ear infections, and fever in recreational swimmers. Young children and people with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible.
Many beaches around the country are monitored by private and government agencies to prevent public health risks of this kind, but the Shaw Institute's Blue Hill Research Center is the only organization that monitors beaches in the Blue Hill area. We provide this monitoring as a public service for free to the community since our area is too small to be monitored by government agencies.
We follow very stringent protocols from the Environmental Protection Agency and Maine Healthy Beaches for both sampling and processing of the bacteria samples. Due to the 24+ processing time for each sample weekly results are posted to our website, 24 to 48 hours after sampling. Any results that are higher than the EPA’s bacteria level threshold are also reported to the Blue Hill Town Hall.
The EPA advises that the maximum acceptable Enterococci bacteria count is 104 in any single sample of marine water at a designated beach area. The full description of the 1986 EPA Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria can be found here.

Five local beaches will be monitored from June 2019 to September 2019. You can find recent reports by clicking the link of the beach location you are interested in viewing below.

Beach Bacteria & Public Health:

Starting June 2019, Shaw Institute has launched a pilot 2019 Public Health and Beach Water Quality Study on the Blue Hill Peninsula. In partnership with Northern Lights Blue Hill Hospital, we will monitor water quality at local recreational beaches to investigate potential links between beach bacteria and public health. For more information about the project, please refer to our FAQ page.

Weekly Reports 2019 

2019 reports are organized by sampling location. Each report will be updated as new data is collected.

Summary Report (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)

Curtis Cove Beach
Blue Hill Town Park

Sampling sites:

Blue Hill Town Park (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)

Carrying Place Beach (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)

Curtis Cove Beach (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)

KYC (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)

Peters Cove (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)

Weekly Reports 2018 

Final monitoring report for 2018 by sampling location:

Blue Hill Town Park - Sept 17

Carrying Place Beach - Sept 17

Curtis Cove Beach - Sept 17

KYC - Sept 5

Peters Cove - Sept 17

Weekly Reports 2017


Blue Hill Town Park - July 7 - Aug 22

Carrying Place Beach- July 7 - Aug 22 2017

Curtis Cove Beach - July 7 - Aug 22 2017

KYC - July 7 - Aug 22 2017

Peters Cove - July 7 - Aug 22 2017


Weekly Reports 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - September 16 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - September 7 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - August 31 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - August 24 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - August 18 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - August 8 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - August 3 2016

Water Quality Monitoring Report - July 20 2016

​Water Quality Monitoring Report - July 7 2016