High bacteria levels making some local beaches potentially unsafe

QUINCY, Mass. — Cloudy and cool in mid-July.

MORE: Beach water quality reports underscore infrastructure woes

Not an ideal swimming day at Wollaston Beach in Quincy. There could be another reason why.

A study by Environment Massachusetts shows its one the top five beaches in the commonwealth.

All the rain lately is not helping.


“One of the biggest sources of pollution we identified in this report is overflows of sewage from outdated infrastructure. So, in some of our older communities in MA the sewage and storm water flowing in the same pipes. During the heavy rainstorms like the ones, we have had from the 4th of July these systems can become overwhelmed, and they end up discharging raw sewage into our waterways,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director, Environment Massachusetts.

Some startling statistics. But the purpose of the report isn’t to scare away beachgoers, according to Hellerstein.

The hope is that it will mobilize and galvanize support to make waterways and swimming areas cleaner and safer all the time.

“It’s important to understand that most of the time you go to the beach its perfectly safe, but our report shows there are significant problems that remain for water quality in (Massachusetts),” Hellerstein said.