Water quality requirements are divided between criterion 7- criterion 11. Each criterion is briefly outlined and related resources are listed with their criterion.

Some general water quality resources are:

1. The EPA’s National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants 2014

2. Blue Flag’s Intro to Water Quality Video; Notes (Blue Flag EPA Intro to WQ); and EPA provided resources (EPA resources for Water Quality)

3. The WHO’s latest report on recreational water quality recommendations (2021 WHO recreational water quality recommendations)

4. The Water Quality Highlights flyer (WQ Criteria Flyer)

5. ASBPA’s White Paper US Beach Water Quality Monitoring

6. FAQs for Water Quality Professionals

7. Surfrider’s Water Quality Program Information by State

Criterion 7

The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements.


Criterion 8

The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis.


A Guide on how to use the Bathing Water Calculator


*Note – The calculator asks for day/month/year. Please use Month/day/year or your program will not recognize the dates and show an error.

The Bathing Water Calculator

Copy of BWQ calculation sheet 80days

Criterion 9

Industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges must not affect the beach area.


We will be using the EPA’s Marine Beach Annual Sanitary Survey as our “Beach Profile”

Marine-beach-annual-sanitary-survey_Beach Profile Mandatory Sections

*Note-Highlighted sections are mandatory to meet the international requirements.

Criterion 10

The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter Escherichia coli (faecal coli bacteria) and intestinal enterococci (streptococci).


Criterion 11

The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for physical parameters.


Play Video

After viewing the workshop above, download and fill out the workshop report to determine any next steps or decision points you may need to make as a community.