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Swimming Not Encouraged At Pasir Ris And Sembawang Beaches

05 Feb 2024

Elevated bacteria levels have been detected at these beaches

Singapore, 05 February 2024 – Pasir Ris Beach and Sembawang Park Beach waters have been graded “Fair” in the annual beach grading exercise, dropping from “Good” in the previous year.  The “Fair” grading reflects the increased occurrence of elevated Enterococcus[1] (EC) bacteria levels in the beach water. Members of the public are advised against swimming at both beaches and engaging in other primary contact water activities[2] until further notice. Other water activities, such as sailing, kayaking and canoeing can continue as normal.

Annual Beach Grading

2             The National Environment Agency (NEA) conducts regular water sampling at seven[3] popular recreational beaches in Singapore. At the start of each year, the recreational beaches are graded based on World Health Organization (WHO) recreational water quality guidelines. The grading takes into account the incidences of elevated EC bacteria count in the beach water samples over the past three years[4]. Last year, all recreational beaches were graded “Good”, which meant that the waters were suitable for all activities.

Pasir Ris Beach and Sembawang Beach

3          In the latest annual beach assessment, Sembawang Park Beach and Pasir Ris Beach have been graded “Fair”. This is due to increased occurrences of elevated EC bacteria in the beach water, which increases the risk of gastrointestinal infection when the water is ingested. Signages advising the public against swimming will be put up along Pasir Ris Beach and Sembawang Park Beach. The advisory will be in place until further notice.  Non-primary contact water activities, such as sailing, kayaking and canoeing can continue as normal. 

Other Beaches

4          East Coast Beach, Changi Beach, Punggol Beach, Seletar Island Beach and Sentosa Beach have maintained a “Good” grade and are suitable for all water activities. However, as there could be occasions when the EC count in the beach water is elevated, we encourage beachgoers to refer to the Beach Short-term Water Quality Information (BSWI) on the NEA website ( or the myENV app if they intend to engage in water activities.

Sources of Elevated EC Bacteria

5          NEA is working with other agencies such as PUB, the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to investigate and mitigate possible sources contributing to the elevated EC bacteria. Based on our preliminary investigations, the elevated EC levels are from inland sources and are not transboundary in nature.  

6          The previous instance when a beach advisory was issued was from August 2008 to January 2012 for Pasir Ris Beach. Primary contact activities resumed in February 2012 following a detailed study of the contributing factors and the implementation of remediation efforts.

[1] Enterococcus is a genus of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Epidemiological data suggested correlations between enterococcus level in recreational water and gastrointestinal illness risk in swimmers.

[2] Primary contact activities refer to activities where a person’s whole body or face and trunk are frequently immersed and it is likely that some water will be swallowed. Primary contact activities include swimming, wakeboarding, windsurfing and water immersion training.

[3] The seven popular recreational beaches are: Changi, East Coast Park, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Seletar Island, Sembawang Park and Sentosa Island.

[4] Based on WHO recreational water quality guidelines, beaches with EC levels greater than 200 cfu/100ml for more than 5 per cent of the samples over a three-year period will be graded “Fair”. At even higher EC levels, the beach would be graded “Poor” or “Very Poor”.

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2024 Annual Beach Grading





East Coast Park


Pasir Ris




Seletar Island


Sembawang Park


Sentosa Island



Beach Advisory to be Installed at Pasir Ris[1] and Sembawang Park[2] Beaches

Beach Advisory Sign

[1] Pasir Ris beach stretches from Pasir Ris Farmway 1 to mouth of Loyang river.

[2] Sembawang Park beach stretches from Sembawang Park fishing pier to mouth of Simpang Kiri river.