Water quality at most beaches is ‘good,’ EPA says

UP TO DATE::Although water quality at the 14 local beaches is tested every two weeks, the EPA called on people to check its Web site before going to the beach

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 - Page 3

The water at 11 of Taiwan’s most popular beaches, which were inspected last week, is of good quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.

The agency said a water quality survey conducted at 14 popular beaches on July 22 and July 23 found that New Taipei City’s (新北市) Fulong (福隆), New Jinshan Bathing Beach (新金山), Baishawan (白沙灣), Miaoli County’s Chiting (崎頂) and Tunghsiao beaches (通霄), Tainan County’s Masago (馬沙溝), Greater Kaohsiung’s Sizihwan (西子灣), Yilan County’s Waiao (外澳), Hualien County’s Jichi (磯崎), Penghu County’s Guanyinting (觀音亭), Kinmen’s Houhu (後湖) and Matsu’s Tanghe beach (塘后) all had good water quality.

However, because of large waves, water samples were not collected at Pingtung County’s Kenting Tiaoshih Recreational Seashore (墾丁跳石), Greater Kao-hsiung’s Cijin beaches (旗津) and Taitung County’s Shanyuan (杉原).

Water quality at the 14 beaches is tested on a bi-weekly basis from late June to August and they are then designated “good,” “normal” and “unsuitable for swimming,” according to the amount of bacteria — from the coliform group and enterococci group — found in the water.

The EPA said it encouraged people to check weather forecasts, as well as water quality and ultraviolet ray monitoring results, on its Web site (www.epa.gov.tw/beach) before heading out to beaches.

In addition, the agency also stressed that people should not swim at beaches after a typhoon or storm has struck an area and urged people to visit a doctor as soon as possible if they feel ill after swimming in the sea.