The Division of Environmental Quality has red-flagged five beaches on Saipan and two on Tinian and is advising the public not to fish or swim within 300 feet of these locations for the next 48 hours or until otherwise notified.
The affected sites on Saipan are the Department of Public Works channel bridge, Puerto Rico dump, Hafa Adai drainage No. 2, Garapan fishing dock, Garapan Beach drainage No. 3, and San Antonio Beach. The affected sites on Tinian are the Leprosarium Beach 2 and Unai Chulu.
Samples collected from these locations contained excessive concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (enterococci) that exceeded the CNMI Marine Water Quality Standards. These bacteria can indicate the presence of human and animal waste in the water.
DEQ analyzes water samples collected from recreational beaches and storm drainage every Tuesday. For more information, contact DEQ at 664-8500. (DEQ)