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Grading of beach water quality released
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (November 25) released the latest grading of water quality for eight beaches. Other beaches have been closed to swimmers from November 1 for the winter season.

     Four beaches were rated as Good (Grade 1) and four as Fair (Grade 2).

Grade 1 beaches are:

Deep Water Bay Beach              Middle Bay Beach
Golden Beach                           Repulse Bay Beach

Grade 2 beaches are:

Big Wave Bay Beach                  Silverstrand Beach
Clear Water Bay Second Beach   Stanley Main Beach

     These are gazetted beaches equipped with shark nets.

     A summary of beach grades is published weekly before the weekend. The latest beach grades based on the most current data may be obtained from the department's websites on Beach Water Quality (www.beachwq.gov.hk and www.epd.gov.hk/epd/beach) or the beach hotline, 2511 6666.

     Compared with the grading released last week, Clear Water Bay Second Beach and Stanley Main Beach have been changed from Grade 1 to Grade 2. Since its last grading (Grade 4) earlier this week, Silverstrand Beach has been upgraded to Grade 2.

     "The changes are generally within the normal range of fluctuation of the bacteriological water quality of the beaches," the EPD spokesman said.

     "For Silverstrand Beach, we observed that the temporary deterioration of water quality was largely due to heavy rain. The latest samples taken show that the water quality of the beach has improved. We will continue to monitor the beach regularly."

     Under the present grading system, beaches are classified into four grades according to the level of E coli in the water. Grades are calculated on the basis of the geometric mean of the E coli counts on the five most recent sampling occasions.
     Grade 4 is assigned to beaches whose last E coli reading exceeded a threshold figure, irrespective of the geometric mean. Swimmers are advised to avoid these beaches until the water quality improves.

     People are advised not to swim at the closed beaches.

     The EPD spokesman warned that many beaches were likely to be more polluted than their grades suggested during and after periods of heavy rain. Bathers should avoid swimming at beaches for up to three days after a storm or heavy rainfall.
Ends/Friday, November 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:00
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