Harbor Water Quality and Testing Program

Public Health and Safety Standards for Water Quality

8:00 am - 12:00 noon

Beach Information

Map of beaches that are closed due to poor water quality

Water Quality Monitoring & Testing

The Provincetown Harbor is monitoried for safety during the bathing beach season under the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, Chapter VII, 105 CMR 445: Minimum Standards For Bathing Beaches.

Bathing or swimming shall not be permitted in bathing waters when the physical and/or the bacteriological quality of the water in impaired.

Physical impairment means: Sludge deposits, soild refuse, floating waste solids, oils, grease or scum are present or there are safety hazards including, but not limited to, fast currents, sharp drop-offs or an unstable bottom in the wading area(s) or lack of water clarity.

Bacteriological impairment means: The bathing water is unacceptable as determined by laboratory analysis for the appropriate indicator organisms. For marine water, the indicator organism is Enterococci. No single Enterococci sample shall exceed 104 colonies per 100ml. and the geometric mean of the most recent five (5) Enterococci levels within the same bathing season shall not exceed 35 colonies per 100ml.

Frequency of Water Quality Testing:

The water of Provincetown Harbor is tested during the bathing beach season every Monday by the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and the County Water Lab. The results of the water quality test are reported to the Provincetown Health Department the following day (Tuesday). If there is a failure due to high indicator bacteria the testing location will be posted as closed to swimming. A resample water quality test will be performed the same day. The beach located at the testing location will remain closed until the water quality laboratory results show the water to be safe for swimming.

Bureau of Environmental Health Massachusetts

Mass BEH

Map of beaches that are closed due to poor water quality

FAQ on the State bathing beach monitoring program