Is Taiwan’s beach water quality safe for swimming?

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(photo from Pixabay)

(photo from Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—With summer temperatures easily rising above 30 degrees Celsius in Taiwan, beaches around the country are popular places for people looking to beat the heat. But, is the water quality of beaches in Taiwan safe for swimming?

According to Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration’s test results, it is safe to swim at all the eight beaches where water samples had been collected because all the samples met the government benchmark for swimmer safety.

The EPA conducted this year’s first beach water quality inspection on June 24 and 25, and posted the results on its Environmental Water Quality Information website for beach goers to reference when they are heading to the beach, the EPA said in a press release on June 29.

The EPA said that besides Kaohsiung’s Cijin Beach, which was closed on the day of inspection due to big waves, the water samples collected from the Wai’ao Beach in Yilan County, Fulong Beach in New Taipei, Xin Jinshan Beach in New Taipei, Tongxiao Beach in Miaoli County, Hsitzuwan Beach in Kaohsiung, Kenting Nanwan Recreational Area in Pingtung County, and Guanyin Tin Beach in Penghu County all met with the sanitary standards and were rated as “good.”

According to the EPA, beach water quality is currently divided into the three levels of “good,” “fair,” and “unsuitable for water activities,” for the public to reference when they are making plans to go to the beach.

According to the results of continuous monitoring of the eight beaches around the country in recent years, these beaches are constantly rated as “fair” to “good,” which means they are suitable for water activities, the agency said.

However, the agency noted that beach water quality is mostly good under normal weather conditions, but the water quality can deteriorate very quickly after heavy downpours, with the coliform group likely increasing hundreds of times and the enterococcus group multiplying dozens of times, making the water become “unsuitable for water activities.”

Noting that it usually takes three days or so for the water quality to return to normal, the EPA urged the public to avoid beach activities in heavy rains or within three days after a storm or typhoon blew over to stay away from harm's way.

The EPA said it will post updated beach water quality test results in early August and early September, urging the public to look for related news or check on the above-mentioned website for new information. The agency said it had asked all beach operators and their administrative agencies to post the EPA beach water quality test results and remind the public to watch out for water quality.

(photo from Pixabay)