Beach-goers spread out, Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

PORTLAND, Maine – According to the Maine DEP, 10 beaches have elevated levels of bacteria and five other beaches have contamination.

Those that are contaminated are Old Orchard Beach, Willard Beach in South Portland, Broad Cove Reserve in Cumberland, Goodies Beach in Rockport and Laite Beach in Camden.

Beaches in Wells, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are now back in the safe range.

The state tests for the enterococcus bacteria, which is not as affected by salt water as E. coli. Officials with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection say it is the best indicator of fecal waste and potential disease-causing pathogens that might be in the water.

The head of the DEP’s Healthy Maine Beaches Program says the goal of this testing is to notify, inform and protect the public.

“If you see these results on our website, while it may be concerning if a certain beach has elevated results, it’s also an indication that that community is working diligently to let the public know that there are water quality issues in certain areas,” Maine DEP Healthy Beaches Program Coordinator Meagan Sims said. “And it shows you the beaches that don’t have them, and where it is safe to swim.”

Most Maine beaches are tested once a week. Those known to have a risk of bacterial contamination get tested twice a week.