The percentage of water samples from public and semi-public (i.e. campgrounds, hotels, country clubs) beaches tested by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that were found to have greater levels of bacteria than what is considered safe for bathing.
Essex County has many of the over 1,000 marine and freshwater public and semi-public bathing beaches in the state. Clean beach water helps to fuel tourism and provide recreation activities for residents, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.
In 2017, 4.3% of the water samples tested from local beaches exceeded the level of what is considered a safe amount of bacteria for bathing. This is higher than the state rate of 3.9% in 2017 and a decrease from their rate of 5.5% in 2004. Within the county, Saugus, at 19%, had the highest rate in 2017 - with the next-highest rates of 17% in Danvers.
Middlesex, MA, at 4.8%, had a higher rate of beach contamination than Essex County in 2017.
No data available for Lake County, IL or Westchester County, NY.