Water Alerts

Water Testing at Rynne Beach (Merrimack River Water Front)


In order mitigate health risks associated with contacted contaminated water, the City of Lowell periodically collects and analyzes water samples from the Merrimack River at Rynne Beach. This occurs every week on Friday during the swimming season. When an elevated bacteria level is detected, notification will be provided of the beach’s closure, and advising residents that the water is unsafe for swimming. This information will be posted at the waterfront, and on this webpage.

As of August 8, 2022 Rynne Beach remains closed due to high bacteria levels. Please avoid swimming at this location until further notice. 

To view the most recent water quality testing report, click here.

Under state regulations, the beach must be closed for swimming if E-Coli levels exceed 235/100ml in a single sample, or 126/100 ml geomean (meaning the average recorded over 5 samples). For more information about the water quality conditions used to determine beach closures, click here.

Please note that due to staffing shortages, no lifeguards are on duty at Rynne Beach during the summer 2022 swimming season. 

Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)


Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) occur when sewage and storm water volumes overload sewer capacity, resulting in untreated sewage being discharged into local waterways. In Lowell, and in other communities across the country, CSOs often occur during periods of heavy rainfall or snow melt. 

Following a CSO discharge, it is recommended that individuals avoid contact, including swimming, fishing, and boating with the Merrimack River for 48 hours. 

In 2021, a new law was signed requiring public notification of all sewerage discharges.  All notices pertaining to CSOs in Lowell can be found here