Water quality at beaches good, EPA says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jun 30, 2013 - Page 3

The water quality at most of the nation’s beaches tested by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is good, test results showed.

With the summer weather reaching high temperatures recently, an increasing number of people are hitting the beach on weekends and holidays for relaxation. To safeguard the health of people swimming or playing in the water at the nation’s popular beaches, the EPA released the results of a water quality examination it conducted on Sunday and Monday last week.

The results showed that two beaches had “fair” quality water, while the seawater at the other nine beaches were “good.”

The 11 beaches examined were New Taipei City’s (新北市) Fulong (福隆), New Jinshan Bathing Beach (新金山), Miaoli County’s Tungsiao (通霄), Tainan County’s Masago (馬沙溝), Greater Kaohsiung’s Sizihwan (西子灣) and Cijin (旗津), Pingtung County’s Kenting Tiaoshih Recreational Seashore (墾丁跳石), Yilan County’s Waiao (外澳), Hualien County’s Jici (磯崎), Taitung County’s Shanyuan (杉原) and Penghu County’s Guanyinting (觀音亭).

The water at the beaches was tested for coliform and enterococci bacteria, and graded into three categories — “good,” “normal” and “unsuitable for swimming.”

Due to big waves on the day the water was collected, the water quality at Cijin was not tested this time around, while the water of Sizihwan and Shanyuan beaches were found to be of “fair” quality.

The EPA said water quality in beaches are often affected by heavy rain, because it washes dirty waste water from the shore into the ocean, causing the water quality close to the beach to deteriorate rapidly.

It often takes about three days after heavy rains before the water quality returns to normal.

The EPA advised people to avoid going to the beach during or after heavy rains.

The EPA’s ultraviolet light level monitoring and forecast system also showed “very high” levels across the nation, meaning people may get sunburned within 20 minutes of exposure to the sun.

The public is advised to use skin protection measures when going outside.