July 1, 2005
The Ministry of the Environment announced that the water of 749 primary bathing beaches all over Japan maintained the quality required for bathing. This is the result of the water quality survey of primary bathing beaches conducted between the beginning of April and the beginning of June 2005 by prefectural governments and municipalities which were delegated authority under the Water Pollution Control Law.
The targets of this survey were 749 bathing beaches, which are beaches with more than 10,000 visitors and bathing areas of lakes, reservoirs and rivers with more than 5,000 visitors in 2004. The items surveyed were the number of fecal coliform group, oil slicks, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and transparency. Hydrogen ion concentration (pH) and Escherichia coliform bacillus "O-157" were also monitored as the reference items.
<Summary of the Survey Result>
The water quality of 749 beaches was categorized according to the water quality criteria for bathing beaches. The water quality at 611 bathing beaches or 82% of the total was rated AA or A which were found to be in excellent condition (605 beaches or 80% of the total in 2004). The figure exceeds the previous year's level. Number of bathing beaches categorized as AA is 432 or 58% of the total, increased from the previous year's figures (356 or 47% of the total in 2004) (Table 1). Among the beaches classified as B or C, there are no beaches requiring any remedial measures.
The water quality at 78 bathing beaches out of 85 beaches subject to the survey among "Best 88 Bathing Beaches of Japan" designated by the Ministry of the Environment was rated A, and the remaining seven were categorized as B (Table 2).