§ 23-21.1-7. Bathing water monitoring/management.
To minimize the human health risk associated with swimming in contaminated bathing waters; the department shall require all bathing beach operators to test bathing waters adjacent to their bathing beach for pathogens and/or pathogen indicators established under this chapter and authorized regulations, to ensure those waters meet minimum sanitation standards for water quality at bathing beaches. Furthermore, the department shall incorporate the following minimum provisions:
(1) The owner of a bathing beach shall be required to pay for the costs of sampling, analysis and monitoring of bathing waters adjacent to such facilities at a laboratory approved by the department. Said laboratory shall immediately notify by fax or email the department and the beach owner of all bathing water sample results.
(2) The department shall determine at which sites to conduct testing and the number of samples required to be taken at bathing beaches. The bathing beach sampler shall record site conditions at the time of sampling, as required by the department, such as number of bathers and waterfowl and other conditions that may affect bathing water quality. The department shall consider, but shall not be limited to, the following factors in determining at which site to conduct testing and monitoring of bathing water:
(i) Prior testing results for such bathing waters;
(ii) The length of coastline to be tested and monitored;
(iii) The number of people who use the bathing beach annually; and
(iv) Whether the beach is located adjacent to a storm water drain; sewage, industrial, commercial or agricultural wastewater discharge; or other source of contamination such as marinas or waterfowl.
(3) The department shall determine at what frequency to conduct sampling, analysis, and monitoring of bathing waters. Sampling, analysis, and monitoring shall begin two (2) weeks prior to the bathing season for each bathing beach and continue until the bathing beach closes for the season. Sampling, analysis, and monitoring shall be conducted on a minimum weekly basis during the bathing season, and at such times and under such conditions as shall be sufficient to protect public health and safety. The department may grant a variance from the weekly testing requirement for a bathing beach only where there is a documented history of satisfactory sample results and no known sources of pollution that may jeopardize public health.
(4) Each bathing beach operator shall be responsible for operating the beach in a manner designed to protect public health and safety. Feeding of waterfowl at the beach shall be prohibited and the beach shall be left clean at night in order to not attract waterfowl and other animals.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 352, § 1.)