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Seawater Monitoring Programme for Bathing Beaches  
Program Overview

The Department of Health routinely samples and tests seawater from Bermuda's beaches for enterococci, a group of bacteria which are used as indicators of faecal pollution. Enterococci are present in human and animal waste and can enter marine waters from a variety of sources such as storm water runoff, animal and seabird waste, failing septic systems, sewage effluent, or boating waste.

We follow the US EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria for Marine Water, which are based on extensive scientific studies and projects. The recent 2012 guidelines recommend that culturable enterococci for marine bathing waters do not exceed a geometric mean of 35 colony forming units (cfu) per 100milliltres of water over a 30 day period. Also, a single value of 130 cfu enterococci per 100ml should not be exceeded by more than 10% of the samples taken at that particular location.

During the peak months of May to September, Environmental Health Officers typically collect water samples at the most popular beaches with the larger beaches having multiple sampling points. As a result,  approximately sixteen samples are collected twice a week.

Test results are available in 24 hours and if enterococci levels exceed 130 cfu/100ml at any location, that location is resampled and re-tested. To date, when this has occurred, re-testing has shown that the enterococci count has decreased to an acceptable level.

The following table summarizes the water quality based on samples collected for the period indicated

Department of Health On-Shore Seawater Sampling 2014
For the period of 21/1/14 – 29/7/14

Site

Number of Samples

Monitoring Frequency
(peak months)

Meets EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria

Elbow Beach - Central

37

2/week

Yes

Elbow Beach - East

37

2/week

Yes

Elbow Beach - West

37

2/week

Yes

Grape Bay

37

2/week

Yes

Horseshoe Bay - West

37

2/week

Yes

Horseshoe Bay - East

37

2/week

Yes

Hungry Bay

36

2/week

Yes

Warwick Long Bay

37

2/week

Yes

John Smiths Bay

36

2/week

Yes

Clearwater Beach

35

2/week

Yes

Shelly Bay

36

2/week

Yes

Tobacco Bay

36

2/week

Yes

Snorkel Park

37

2/week

Yes


References

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 2012 Recreational Water Criteria

Further Information

2013 STEPS to a Well Bermuda 
STEPS@gov.bm

Click here to view the STEPS Frequently Asked Questions

Participants:

By now you may have received a postcard indicating that your household has been selected for STEPs to a Well Bermuda. If you have any queries  about the STEPS process, please email steps@gov.bm.

However, please note that we are not accepting consents or refusals via email or telephone. As part of the standard STEPS process, an interviewer must attend to each selected household to obtain consent or refusal.

We thank you for your anticipated cooperation,
The STEPs to a Well Bermuda Team

 

Health Directory  

Minister

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Permanent Secretary

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Acting Chief Medical Officer- Dr. Cheryl Peek Ball

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