Why is Lake Massapoag tested?

Natural water bodies like Lake Massapoag may be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria from animals, swimmers, septic systems or other sources. To protect the health of persons using the beaches, the Sharon Health Departments carries out weekly testing on public beaches throughout the swimming season. The requirements for testing are described under State regulations for bathing beaches (105 CMR 445.000). If testing that violates state regulations are found, or other conditions that may harm water quality are identified, public beaches are closed by the Sharon Board of Health.
The goals of the lake testing program are: 1) to ensure a safe swimming area through regular monitoring of water quality in the Lake; 2) to determine possible sources of bacterial contamination around the Lake; and, 3) to evaluate the need for water management efforts and regulatory measures to protect this natural resource.
The Sharon Health Department also carries out a more extensive testing program than required by the State in order to better assess conditions across the Lake. Testing is carried out not only at swimming beaches but also in locations where bacterial contamination from runoff or other sources might enter the Lake. This comprehensive testing approach better protects the health and safety of all users of the Lake.