Water quality at Massachusetts swimming beaches

The Environmental Toxicology Program tests for waterborne health hazards at ocean and freshwater beaches across Massachusetts.

To minimize illness and injury associated with swimming, and to notify the public about the quality of beach water, the Department of Public Health (DPH) collects beach water quality data from local health departments and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). All public and semi-public bathing beaches in Massachusetts are monitored for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB), and on occasion, harmful algae. Monitoring occurs during the beach season, which begins when the school year finishes in mid-June and ends during the weekend of Labor Day.

If you are interested in reports for years earlier than 2010, please contact the Bureau of Environmental Health at (617) 624-5757.

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