Swampscott Goes Live With Daily Fisherman's Beach Water Updates

SWAMPSCOTT, MA — A renewed commitment to keep Swampscott residents and visitors updated on the condition of the water off Fisherman’s Beach includes a new dashboard on the town website that includes results of daily testing.

The dashboard was launched in a collaboration between the newly formed Water & Sewer Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the Department of Public Works. The testing will take place daily at several locations on Fisherman’s Beach with the dashboard updated here. The Health Department continues to take its state-mandated weekly tests.

(Also on Patch: ‘It’s The Beaches’: Swampscott Reconsiders ARPA Spending Funding Vote)

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Testing results on Tuesday indicated safe swimming conditions at four of six locations — including those most widely utilized by beachgoers and those who recreationally use the water. The two areas of unsafe conditions — which include levels of bacteria higher than the state limit — were near the Puritan Way area of the oceanfront.

Swampscott Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald said verifications were being made last week to ensure there is proper signage on any warnings and the duration of swimming season at the beach.

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Generally, swimmers are advised against using the water within 24 hours of heavy rainfall as stormwater runoff contributes to the level of bacteria in the water, which can cause illness. This is the case in many beaches along the North Shore. In healthier beaches, that condition clears within 12 to 24 hours.

At King’s Beach, with its proximity to Stacy’s Brook and the sewer outfalls of both Swampscott and Lynn, that is not often the case with anyone considering using that beach urged to follow the signage and flag warnings. Testing results at that beach are often time-delayed and may not accurately reflect conditions at that particular time.

The annual Save The Harbor/Save The Bay survey released earlier this month showed the water at King’s Beach was only suitable for human contact 55 percent of the time last year —a drop of 19 percent from last year when it was also dead last out of 15 metropolitan beaches.

Save The Harbor/Save The Bay Executive Director Chris Mancini told Patch that residents should use “common sense” if they decide to use King’s Beach at all this summer.

“Never go into Stacy’s Brook at all,” he said. “If you are going to go in at King’s Beach go as far away from Stacy’s Brook to the southern end as possible.

“Then if it’s been raining at all in the last 24 hours I would go to Nahant or Fisherman’s Beach instead.”

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(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at Scott.Souza@Patch.com. X/Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)

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