High E.coli bacteria count found at Qiding and Fulong Beaches

Water samples collected at Qiding and Fulong beach showed high concentration of E.Coli bacteria

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A dangerously high level of E.coli bacteria was found in water samples collected from Qiding and Fulong beaches, making the beaches unsuitable for water activities.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPD), on August 11, announces the result of the second beach water examination. The outcome collected from water examples of 10 popular beaches in Taiwan shows that Fulong beach at New Taipei City and Qiding beach at Miaoli County are found to have a high concentration of E.coli bacteria above legal limits for people to go into the water.

The Director of Environmental monitoring and information management, Chang Shun-chin, said the rapid increase in number of E.coli organisms were caused by the heavy rains dumped by several typhoons in the previous weeks. He reminded people not to swim in the waters at the beach within three days after heavy rains.

However, apart from Fulong and Qiding, the other eight seaside recreation centers tested negative for the bacteria and therefore are safe for water activities, including Wai-ao at Yilan, Jinshan at New Taipei City, Tongxiao at Miaoli, Mashagou at Tainan, Sizihwan at Kaohsiung, Kenting at Pingtung, Shanyuan at Taitung, and Guanyin at Penghu.

Since 1999, the EPA has been conducting water quality monitoring during the summer season to inform people of the quality of water for any seaside activities. The water samples are collected at the water at a depth of one meter in the left, center and right side within the safe beach area. Later on, they are categorized as "Good," "Fair" and "Unsuitable for water activities."

E. coli or Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria that lives in intestines of humans and animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless. However, some types can cause diarrhea and sickness.