Boston Beaches Test High For Fecal Bacteria, Environmental Group Says

dirty beaches

Ben Hellerstein of Environment Massachusetts released his organization's Safe For Swimming? report at Malibu Beach in Dorchester Tuesday. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — An environmental advocacy group says several Massachusetts beaches—including some in the Boston area—are consistently testing positive for unsafe fecal bacteria levels.

Environment Massachusetts released their Safe For Swimming report Tuesday during a press conference at Dorchester's Malibu Beach.

Malibu and Tenean Beaches in Dorchester were among those the report says tests at continuously dangerous levels.

Read the full report here

Ben Hellerstein, Director of Environment Massachusetts, said his group tested a number of beaches for the report, and that it wasn't just Greater Boston that saw high bacteria levels.

"The bottom line is that this problem is widespread," Hellerstein said. "We're really seeing it all up and down the coastline. There's a beach in Provincetown that, up to 50 percent of the days that were tested, had unsafe levels of bacteria—Provincetown Harbor at Franklin Street."

Hellerstein said that, in most cases, the urban water contamination is caused by combined sewer overflows during storms.

"There's legislation right now at the State House that would require the operators of these sewer systems to disclose when there has been discharge into our waterways promptly to the public to make sure people are aware of these potentially unsafe conditions," Hellerstein said. "We're encouraging legislators to move forward with that bill as quickly as possible."

Under that legislation, sewer operators would have to notify the public within two hours of a sewer discharge.

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WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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