20 Sep 2011

CNMI public warned off polluted beaches

2:41 pm on 20 September 2011

The Department of Environmental Quality in the Northern Mariana Islands has advised the public against fishing and swimming at more than a dozen spots on the island of Saipan.

The Department says weekly water tests have found high concentrations of faecal indicator bacteria, that exceeds water quality standards in locations by Garapan Fishing Dock, Fiesta Resort Drainage, Hafadai Drainage and Garapan Beach.

Its Laboratory Manager Clarissa Bearden says the public has been advised not to go fishing or swimming near drainages and beaches until further notice.

"Most of the time our exceedance happen either in drainages areas, areas that have drainages. Or during the rainy season. Stormwater run-off actually costs a lot of our violations to increase and in some of our swimming areas."

Clarissa Bearden says 90 percent of tests carried out last week have resulted in a breach of the CNMI marine water quality standards.