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Publications

  • RI Beach Program Season Report 2011

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Beach Monitoring Data

  • Purpose: To determine whether the water at the state's licensed beach facilities is safe for swimming.
  • Key Information: The concentration of Enterocci bacteria in beach water samples is measured in cfu/100ml (colony forming units per 100 milliliters). Beach closures are based on exceedances of more than 104 cfu/100 ml in saltwater and 61 cfu/100ml in freshwater.
  • Collection Period: Sample data is available from 2000 to present.

Rhode Island Numbers

See Closure Data

Beach Closures and Rainfall by Year 2000 — 2013

Narragansett Bay as become notably more swimmable since 2009. This was the year that the Narragansett Bay Commission's "Combined Sewer Overflow Abatement Program" started to hold back the mixture of rainwater, road runoff and raw sewage that used to run directly into the bay after storms; when there was more water than the treatment plants could handle. The number of closure days per inches of rainfall over the season has been dropping during the past few years. As more storage tunnels are built and used this trend is expected to continue. (more)

In addition to sewage overflow issues, beaches may become polluted from stormwater culverts, and animal feces from: geese, dogs, seagulls and other wildlife.

Beach Closures, 2000 to 2013

Beaches that monitor water quality frequently tend to have fewer closure days per event.

Notes: The number of closures represents the number of individual times the beach has been closed over the time period. The closure days represents the total number of days that the beach was closed over the same period.