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Beach Water Quality Testing Program

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For answers to frequently asked questions about our beach and river water quality testing program please see our FAQs
 
A community discussion was held on Friday August 11, 2023 at the Goose Rocks Beach Community House. The presentation from that evening can be seen here: GRB Water Quality Community Discussion Presentation
 
The Town of Kennebunkport is dedicated to monitoring the water quality of our rivers and beaches. For 20 years, since 2004, the Town has voluntarily participated in the Maine Healthy Beaches Program. Many Maine communities participate in this federally funded program to ensure that swim beaches across coastal Maine are monitored for bacteria that could potentially cause illness and the public notified when water quality may not be safe. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Kennebunkport Public Health staff and volunteers conduct weekly testing at  two locations on Goose Rocks Beach (GR-2 and GR-4) and one location at Colony Beach. The Town also conducts testing at the mouth of the Batson and Little Rivers, but not as part of the Maine Healthy Beaches program.
 
Additional Information found belowThe MHB program supports monitoring of the fecal indicator bacteria Enterococcus at coastal beaches. This type of bacteria is associated with the fecal material of humans and other warm-blooded animals. The US EPA recommends using this bacteria to indicate the possible presence of unsafe pathogens in the water because there are too many pathogens to test for individually. While unlikely to cause illnesses themselves, the presence of these bacteria in the water suggests that other pathogens that could pose a health risk may be present as well. It is important to the Town of Kennebunkport to provide this information to allow people to make informed decisions.

Due to continued heightened levels of Enterococci bacteria at the mouths of the Batson River and Little River, the Town has decided to remove the two river testing sites (GR-1 and GR-5) from the Town’s partnership with the Maine Healthy Beaches program as they are acknowledged as a continual water quality risk. The Town will maintain weekly testing at these sites to continue data collection, but will not post beach advisories as a result of this data. 

Below is a map of the beach (GR-2 and GR-4) and river (GR-1 and GR-5) testing sites at Goose Rocks Beach:

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River water quality testing

Additional information and resources: