The National Environment Agency (NEA) announced today (7 October) the provision of Beach Short-term Water Quality Information (BSWI).
The Agency had revealed the weekly assessment of water quality of Singapore’s seven popular recreational beaches, such as the Sentosa Island beaches, Seletar Island Beach, Sembawang Park Beach, Changi Beach, East Coast Park Beach, Pasir Ris Beach and Punggol Beach.
Apart from the assessment of water quality, the NEA had also provided advisories and recommended actions to guide beachgoers on precautions they can take to safeguard their health.
In the press statement, it was reported that the BSWI could allow the beachgoers to access “more current” water quality information, based on the Enterococcus bacteria (EC) levels of the water.
The water quality is expressed as bandings for the ease of interpretation.
- Band 1 (Normal) – EC Levels ≤ 200
- Band 2 (Elevated) – EC Levels 200 < EC ≤ 500
- Band 3 High) – EC Levels > 500 OR two consecutive weeks of 200 < EC ≤ 500
According to the NEA, the public “need not be concerned” if certain stretches of the beach go into Band 2 (Elevated) or even Band 3 (High) range for a particular week. It was explained that the Enterococcus levels are transient in nature and the beach water is continuously flushed and mixed by currents.
However, when the water quality goes into Band 3, the NEA mentioned that they will monitor the water quality, conduct investigations to identify possible pollution sources, as well as carry out any remedial or mitigation measures as required.
The public is also advised to avoid entering the beach water immediately after heavy rainfall, as well as avoid water activities when they have open sores, skin infections, or if they are unwell.