Beach Bacteria Monitoring

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 2023 to September 2023. Currently, we are surveying: Blue Hill Town Park, Carrying Place Beach, Curtis Cove, and Peters Cove.

Beach Bacteria Reports 2023

Each report will be updated as new data is collected.

Summary Report (August 28- September 3)

Summary Report (August 21- August 27)

Summary Report (August 14- August 18)

Summary Report (July 24-August 11)

Summary Report (July 24-August 4)

Summary Report (July 17-July 28)

Summary Report (July 10-July 21)

Summary Report (July 3-July 14)

Summary Report (June 19-June 30)

Summary Report (June 19-June 25)

Summary Report (June 13-June 20)

Summary Report (June 26-July 7)

Archive: Beach Bacteria Reports 2022

Each report will be updated as new data is collected.

Summary Report (June 7- June 21)

Summary Report (June 14- June 29)

Summary Report (June 20 - July 4)

Summary Report (June 28 - July 14)

Summary Report (July 4 - July 18)

Summary Report (July 11 - July 25)

Summary Report (July 18 - August 3)

Summary Report (August 8-August 18)

Summary Report (August 19-21, rain event)

Summary Report (August 22- September 2)

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)

Weekly Reports by Sampling Site
Blue Hill Town Park
Carrying Place Beach 
Curtis Cove Beach*
Peters Cove
Surry Town Wharf 

* 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)

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)

Archive: 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

Archive: 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


Archive: 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