105 CMR: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
105 CMR 445.00: MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BATHING BEACHES
(STATE SANITARY CODE, CHAPTER VII)
The words, terms or phrases listed below, for the purpose of 105 CMR 445.000, shall be defined and interpreted as follows:
Bathing Beach shall mean a natural or artificial flowing or impounded pond, lake, stream, river or other body of fresh or salt water at the location where it is used for bathing and swimming purposes. It shall not mean a swimming pool as defined in 105 CMR 435.000: Minimum Standards for Swimming Pools (State Sanitary Code: Chapter V).
Board of Health shall mean the appropriate and legally designated health authority of the city, town, or other legally constituted governmental unit within the Commonwealth having the usual powers and duties of the board of health of a city or town, or his or its authorized agent or representative.
Department means Department of Public Health.
Operator shall mean any person who
(a) alone or jointly or severally with others owns a bathing beach or
(b) has care, charge, or control of such bathing beach as agent or lessee of the owner or as an independent contractor.
Person shall mean every individual, partnership, corporation, firm, association or group, including a city, town, county, or other governmental unit.
No person shall operate or maintain a bathing beach whenever in the opinion of the board of health or the Department such bathing beach is or may be hazardous or unsafe for persons using the beach. Bathing and swimming shall be limited to water areas which meet the requirements of 105 CMR 445.03.
445.03: Bathing Water Quality
(1) General. Bathing shall not be permitted at any beach where the quality of bathing water does not meet the standards established in 105 CMR 445.03(2) and 445.03 (3), and no bathing beach shall be established or maintained on a body of water when such water is determined by the board of health or the Department to be polluted or so subject to pollution as to constitute a menace to health if used for bathing or swimming purposes.
(2) Physical Quality. Bathing and swimming shall not be permitted in water areas when:
(a) Sludge deposits, solid refuse, floating waste solids, oils, grease or scum are present or
(b) A black disc, six inches in diameter, on a white field placed at a depth of at least four feet of water is not readily visible from the surface of the water; or when, under normal usage, such disk is not readily visible from the surface of the water when placed on the bottom where the water depth is less than four feet or
(c) A hazardous substance is or may be discharged into any bathing beach waters to a degree considered by the board of health or the Department to be of public health significance.
(3) Bacteriological Quality. The water in bathing beaches shall be disapproved for bathing and swimming purposes when:
(a) The results of a sanitary survey by the board of health or the Department discloses sewage or other hazardous substance is or may be discharged into the bathing beach waters to a degree considered by the board of health or the Department to be of public health significance or (b) Epidemiological evidence by the board of health or the Department discloses the prevalence of an infectious disease which is considered as related to the use of bathing beach waters or © The bacteriological quality of bathing beach waters indicates that sewage or other hazardous substance is being discharged into the bathing and swimming areas; or that high bathing density has created a condition which is or may be dangerous to the public health. A coliform count over 1000 per 100 ml. shall be considered as a guide requiring additional investigation, survey or special analyses as may be necessary.
(4) Laboratory Tests.
Laboratory tests of water as required by 105 CMR 445.00 shall be performed by a laboratory certified by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
(5) Collection of Bathing Beach Water Samples
(a) Location. Samples of bathing beach water shall be taken at such times and points designated by the board of health within the area utilized for bathing or swimming purposes. Additional samples shall also be obtained at any critical point subject to possible pollution from business developments, dwellings, streams, or other sources.
(b) Frequency. Samples shall be taken at least twice monthly during the bathing season. It is recommended that samples be taken:
1. Prior to the opening of the bathing season
2. Weekly during the bathing season
(c) Field Data. Physical conditions noted at the time of sampling shall be recorded on a suitable form including sample number, name of collector, source, location, date and time of sampling, bathing load and other pertinent data such as tidal phase and wind direction in coastal bathing areas.
(d) Sampling and Personnel. Samples shall be obtained at representative depths of the body of water in use for bathing and swimming. Method of sampling shall be in accordance with the protocol established by the most current edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage of the American Public Health Association. Samples shall be taken by the board of health, the Department, their duly authorized representatives or other qualified persons as determined by the board of health or the Department.
Whenever the water quality does not meet the requirements of 105 CMR 445.03, the board of health shall post, or cause to be posted a sign, or signs, at each 100 linear feet of beach stating that swimming is prohibited. The sign shall be red letters, at least three inches high, on a white background.
105 CMR 445.000: M.G.L. c. 111, Section 127A.