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Brown water at Worthing Beach is not a health risk

Brown water at Worthing Beach is not a health risk
The brownish discoloured water was due to vegetation from the swamp. (FILE)

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Sea bathers using Worthing Beach, Christ Church, are informed that there will be occasional discoloration of the nearshore water when excess water from the Graeme Hall Swamp needs to be discharged into the sea via the sluice gate.

This is a mitigation measure to alleviate flooding and stagnation in the drainage channel leading from the swamp to the beach.

The discoloration is caused by “tannins” from the red and white mangrove trees typically found in the Graeme Hall Swamp.

Tannins are the brown pigment residue resulting from the natural secretions from the mangrove roots and organic decomposition from dead leaves and branches. Tannins do not pose a health risk.

The occasional brown tannins at Worthing Beach is a natural phenomenon associated with coastal wetland ecosystems, and the public should observe all signage or instructions provided by the staff of the National Conservation Commission.

The sluice gate and drainage channel at Worthing Beach is an extremely important system, which is critical to maintaining the health of the wetland ecosystem in the Graeme Hall Swamp. The channel is primarily responsible for maintaining a delicate freshwater salinity balance between the sea and the mangrove forest.

This natural balance assists in maintaining brackish water and fish populations, as well as controlling the mosquito population and invasive species of lilies and algae.

Anyone who has any further questions or concerns should contact the Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification or the Drainage Division of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources. (BGIS)