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 2018 to September 2018. You can find recent reports by clinking the link of the beach location you are interested in viewing below.
Weekly Reports 2018
2018 reports are organized by sampling location. Each report will be updated as new data is collected.
Due to the continuing warm weather, we will be conducting one additional round of sampling this week. The final reports will be available on Friday, September 21.
In an effort to improve how we communicate our data to the public, our bacteria reports got a brand new look. We hope the changes make them more readable and user friendly for everyone. If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Reports 2017
2017 reports are organized by sampling location. Each report contains each location's weekly monitoring results.
Weekly Reports 2016
2016 reports are organized by the date each of the five sites was sampled. Each report contains data for each site in the given time frame.