- Public Information Officer
Beach Program Manager
The Department of Health discourages water contact in areas within 200 feet of a running storm drain and in or near areas where water seeps from the ground. These waters may contain high levels of harmful bacteria, which may cause illness.
The Department of Health discourages swimming, surfing, and other full body contact activities in Upper Narragansett Bay, North of Conimicut Point for a minimum of 3 days areas after heavy rains. These waters are directly affected by discharges from area wastewater treatment facilities and/or stormwater drains. After a heavy rain, high levels of harmful bacteria in these waters may cause illness.
The Department of Environmental Management has documented evidence of human sewage in storm drain outfalls and groundwater seeps along the shoreline of Portsmouth Park the southern portion of "Blue Bill Cove" at Island Park. (more) Though water quality data at nearby monitoring stations may indicate safe swimming, pollution sources are variable and may cause localized areas of contamination. Use shellfish closure areas as a guide for affected waters to avoid.