Water Quality

Popular Recreational Beaches

Singapore's Water Quality Guidelines for Popular Recreational Beaches

To assess the suitability of a recreational beach for primary contact activities (e.g. swimming, skiing, wakeboarding, diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, jet-skiing and water immersion training (such as capsize training for kayaking and canoeing)), Singapore adopts the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines (2003) for recreational water quality.

Primary contact activities are those where:

  1. the whole body or the face and trunk are frequently immersed and
  2. it is likely that some water will be swallowed.

The parameters used to assess the water quality are as follows:

For recreational beaches:

  1. The 95th percentile Enterococcus counts should be less than or equal to 200 counts per 100 millilitres of water;
  2. Susceptibility of the location to faecal influence;
  3. Only beaches classified as 'Good' and above will be considered suitable for primary contact activities.
  *The levels of Enterococcus in at least 95 percent of the samples (95th percentile) must not exceed 200 counts per 100ml.


Popular Recreational Beaches

Water quality of Singapore's popular recreational beaches in 2020

NEA conducts weekly sampling of water quality from the seven (7) popular recreational beaches listed below:

  • Sentosa Island Beaches (Siloso beach, Palawan beach, Tanjong beach)
  • Seletar Island Beach
  • Sembawang Park Beach
  • Changi Beach
  • East Coast Park Beach
  • Pasir Ris Beach
  • Punggol Beach

Location of popular recreational beaches monitored for water quality

punggolbeach

All the popular recreational beaches monitored by NEA are assessed to be suitable for primary contact activities as they are graded “Good”. These seven beaches continue to meet the WHO water quality guidelines for recreational use. 

The results of the water quality for popular recreational beaches are based on the weekly sampling results of water samples over three years.

Beach Classification in 2018Classification in 2019Classification in 2020
Sentosa Island GoodGoodGood 
Seletar IslandGood Good Good 
Sembawang ParkGood Good Good 
Changi BeachGood Good Good 
East Coast ParkGood Good Good 
Pasir Ris BeachGood Good Good 
Punggol BeachGood Good Good 


General Precautionary Measures for Beach Users

 In general, beach users are advised:

  1. to refrain from water based recreational activities if they have open sores, skin infections, or are unwell.
  2. to avoid touching mouth/eyes with their hands which were in contact with sand/water.
  3. to practise good personal hygiene such as taking a rinse after a swim and washing hands thoroughly before eating or handling food.
  4. to avoid contact with water that is discoloured or with algal scum/algal mat.
NEA also provide the Beach Short-term Water Quality Information (BSWI) for the 7 popular recreational beaches since Oct 2020, which includes the weekly assessment of the water quality of the seven beaches, along with accompanying advisories and recommended actions to guide beachgoers on precautions they can take to safeguard their health. The weekly information on the water quality of the 7 popular recreational beaches is available via https://www.nea.gov.sg/beach-water-quality

For information on recreational water activities at fresh water bodies such as reservoirs, please refer to PUB's website at https://www.pub.gov.sg/getinvolved/activities.