The City says the latest round of coastal water sample results has shown that all eight of Cape Town’s Blue Flag beaches are compliant with Blue Flag water quality standards based on the independent analysis of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
This is based on an independent analysis of water samples taken over the past seven weeks, the latest being December 5 and 7, the City said.
The Blue Flag beaches are Bikini Beach, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th Beach, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Melkbosstrand, Muizenberg and Silwerstroom. Pilot Blue Flag status was also awarded to Mnandi, Strandfontein and Hout Bay.
Blue Flag beaches are independently accredited by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) based on water quality results from festive season water sampling analysed by the SABS laboratory between December 1 and January 31 each year.
The City said its Coastal Management branch is further monitoring trends at 25 other popular beach locations over a 12-month rolling period in addition to the weekly samples taken at the Blue Flag beaches.
Across a total of 225 samples tested across 24 key recreational nodes, 94% met excellent water standards over a 9-week period as part of Coastal Management’s research programme, the City said.
Based on 9 rounds of water sampling from October 3 to December 5, 16 of 25 locations had 100% excellent sampling results; two had 89% excellent results (8/9 samples), five had 78% excellent results (7/9 samples); and two returned excellent results 66% of the time (6/9 samples).
Deputy mayor and spatial planning and environment mayoral committee member Eddie Andrews said: “I want to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy their days out on the beach, and to make the most of what our wonderful city offers.”
“These results are the most reliable and best indicator of coastal water quality this festive season as they show the situation right now, rather than a 365-day average result which can be skewed by winter rainfall and urban pollution run-off into water bodies,” said deputy mayor Eddie Andrews.
When a pollution incident is detected, the City said it has specific protocols to swiftly contain and rectify the situation which may entail a temporary pause on swimming along a section of beach until water sampling confirms the water is safe again. Signage will be displayed in these instances.