Sun, Jul 19, 2009 - Page 2 News List

EPA okays water at popular beaches

SUMMER FUN Nine out of ten favorite beach spots passed the test, but the EPA warned the public not to swim at Cisingtan Beach for the next three to five days

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

For those planning to head to the beach for a break from the summer heat will be happy to know that nine out of the country’s 10 most popular beaches have superior water quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.

The EPA said it conducted its fifth water quality survey of the year on July 12 and July 13 and found that New Jinshan Bathing Beach (新金山), Baishawan (白沙灣) and Fulong (福隆) in Taipei County, Tonghsiao (通霄) in Miaoli County, Shanyuan (杉原) in Taitung County, Sizihwan (西子灣) and Cijin beaches (旗津) in Kaohsiung City, Kenting Tiaoshih Recreational Seashore (墾丁跳石) in Pingtung County and Houhu (後湖) in Kinmen County had very good water quality, said Chu Yu-chi (朱雨其), head of the EPA’s department of environmental monitoring and information management division.

Following heavy rains in Hualien County, Cisingtan Beach (七星潭) was found to be unsuitable for swimming, Chu said.

“People should avoid going into the water for the next three to five days there,” he said.

The EPA rated water quality at the beaches according to the concentration of E. coli bacteria.

“In order for water to be suitable for swimming, it must have less than 1,000 colony-forming units [CFU] per 100mm of water,” Chu said.

E. coli is a common bacteria that is not necessarily harmful, but its presence normally indicates other, more dangerous bacteria can also be found in the water, Chu said.

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