A total of 64 beach water samples with various bacteriological quality (Grades 1 to 4) were analysed for their bacteriological and parasitological contents (E coli and Giardia cysts respectively). Results indicated that Giardia cysts were detected in less than 10% of the Grade 1 beach water samples with E coli concentrations of <24/100mL. For Grades 2, 3 & 4 beach water samples, Giardia cysts were found, respectively, in 85, 50 and 64% of the samples. Except for one beach water sample which had an unusually high concentration of Giardia cysts (23 cysts/L), they were generally present at moderate concentrations (<10 cysts/L) in all other beach water samples. Despite moderate levels of Giardia cysts present in beach water of different grades, the potential health risk faced by swimmers bathing in local beach water needs to be carefully assessed as Giardia is known to have a low infectious dose.

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