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Beach Monitoring Programme

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To protect public health and to assess whether the Water Quality Objective is met, a comprehensive beach monitoring programme has been implemented by the EPD. The Beach Monitoring Programme has the following six functions:

  • to assess compliance with the Water Quality Objective;
  • to detect any change in beach water quality;
  • to identify polluted beaches that need remedial actions;
  • to evaluate pollution abatement programmes;
  • to decide on the opening of beaches; and
  • to advise the public on the beach water quality status.

The Programme

The beach monitoring work includes beach water sample collection, laboratory analysis and data management. During each beach monitoring visit, beach water samples are collected where the water depth is between thigh to waist depth i.e. about 1 metre depth for analysis of E. coli bacteria and physical measurements of pH, salinity and turbidity. The water samples are delivered to the laboratory for analysis as soon as sampling is completed and are stored at about 4°C during transportation. Dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature of the beach water are measured in-situ at each of the beaches and observations such as weather and beach conditions, are also recorded. The Beach Monitoring Programme covers 41 gazetted beaches and 3 non-gazetted beaches scattered in six different districts.

The Programme

Beaches Monitored by the EPD

Beaches Monitored by the EPD

Monitoring Regime

During bathing seasons, all beaches are monitored at least three times per month. To conform with the Water Quality Objective, the interval between the sampling occasions is maintained at 3 to 14 days. All data collected during the bathing season will be used for assessing the annual water quality trend of the beach.

During non-bathing seasons, gazetted beaches which remain open throughout the year are still monitored at least three times per month, all other beaches are monitored once per month.

Monitoring Regime

 

Beach monitoring frequencies
Beach Monitoring frequency
Bathing season
(March to October)
Non-bathing season
(November to February)
Gazetted beaches open all year round * at least 3 times per month at least 3 times per month
Other gazetted beach at least 3 times per month once per month
Non-gazetted beaches at least 3 times per month once per month
* Clear Water Bay Second Beach, Deep Water Bay Beach, Golden Beach and Silverstrand Beach

Monitoring Protocol

Overview of various stages of the Beach Monitoring Programme

Overview of various stages of the Beach Monitoring Programme

Operation of the beach water quality monitoring programme

Download the transcript

Operation of the beach water quality monitoring programme (9 minutes) (9 minutes)

 
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