Beach Bacteria Monitoring
Enterococci bacteria indicate the presence of fecal contamination and potentially harmful bacteria and viruses in the water. These harmful microbes 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 Peninsula. We provide this monitoring as a public service to the community since our area is not 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. In order to keep our community members and beach goers safe from harmful bacteria, we test several locations around the peninsula and combine this with weather data to provide weekly reports, suggesting which areas might be safest and which should be avoided. Please feel free to check here for updates. More information is below. Any results that are higher than the EPA’s bacteria level threshold are also reported to the Blue Hill Town Hall.
The full description of the 1986 EPA Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria can be found here.
Many local swimming areas will be monitored from June 2022 to September 2022. Currently we are surveying: Blue Hill Town Park, Carrying Place Beach, Curtis Cove, and Peters Cove.
Beach Bacteria Reports 2022
Each report will be updated as new data is collected.
Archive: Beach Bacteria Reports 2020
Reports are organized by sampling location. Each report will be updated as new data is collected.
Summary Report (August 21-28)
* Bacteria Alert: Curtis Cove Input Stream
⚠ Please be aware Curtis Cove stream frequently exceeds the safety levels of bacteria set by the EPA. Please use caution and avoid the stream area. Shaw Institute is working with the landowners to post signs and determine the source of the bacteria. ⚠ NOTE: We have paused sampling on the stream to further investigate the pollution source. Assume bacteria levels exceed safety levels.
Archive: Weekly Reports 2019
Summary Report (Aug. 29 - Sept. 5)
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)
Archive: Weekly Reports 2018
Final monitoring report for 2018 by sampling location:
Archive: Weekly Reports 2017
Archive: Weekly Reports 2016