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About the Ministry  
The Ministry of Health and the Environment comprises several departments and agencies, including Ministry Headquarters, the Department of Health.  The department heads report directly to the Permanent Secretary. In addition, the Ministry has responsibility for the Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Bermuda Health Council, statutory bodies appointed by the Minister.  The Boards report to the Minister through the Permanent Secretary.  Read more...
Mission Statement  

"To ensure Bermuda has an equitable and sustainable health system that promotes and protects the physical, mental and social well being of individuals and the community."

Core Values  

Core values for the Ministry have been defined. These include:

1. Service
2. Accountability
3. Equity
4. Prevention
5. Collaboration
6. Knowledge-based

Seawater Monitoring Programme for Bathing Beaches  

The Department of Health routinely samples and tests seawater from Bermuda's beaches for enterococci, a group of bacteria which are used as indicators of faecal pollution. Enterococci are present in human and animal waste and can enter marine waters from a variety of sources such as storm water runoff, animal and seabird waste, failing septic systems, sewage effluent, or boating waste.

We follow the US EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria for Marine Water, which are based on extensive scientific studies and projects. The recent 2012 guidelines recommend that culturable enterococci for marine bathing waters do not exceed a geometric mean of 35 colony forming units (cfu) per 100milliltres of water over a 30 day period. Also, a single value of 130 cfu enterococci per 100ml should not be exceeded by more than 10% of the samples taken at that particular location.

During the peak months of May to September, Environmental Health Officers typically collect water samples at the most popular beaches with the larger beaches having multiple sampling points. As a result, a minimum of sixteen samples are collected twice a week.

Test results are available in 24 hours and if enterococci levels exceed 130 cfu/100ml at any location, that location is resampled and re-tested. To date, when this has occurred, re-testing has shown that the enterococci count has decreased to an acceptable level.

Results for 2013 show that all the beaches tested meet the recommended US EPA Recreational Water quality standard of a geometric mean of less than 35 enterococci per 100 millilitres of water.

 

 

The following tables details the results for 2014/13

The seawater sampling data for 2013 is presented in a summary format. The data for 2014 in the table below is presented differently and indicates the enterococci counts for each of the beach locations for the dates sampled so far this year.  As sampling and testing continue over the year, data may be summarized and a geometric mean for enterococci included.

Department of Health – Seawater Sampling 2014

Site

Enterococci Counts (cfu/100ml)

21/1/14

11/2/14

8/4/14

9/4/14

10/4/14

14/4/14

Elbow Beach Central

0

0

0

 

0

0

Elbow Beach East

4

0

1

 

1

0

Elbow Beach West

0

1

1

 

1

1

Grape Bay

1

0

0

 

0

0

Warwick Long Bay

0

0

0

 

0

1

Horseshoe Bay East

1

0

0

 

0

0

Horseshoe Bay West

0

0

1

 

0

0

Hungry Bay

0

0

7

 

6

4

John Smiths Bay

0

0

0

 

0

0

Clearwater Beach

0

0

0

 

0

0

Shelly Bay

0

0

0

 

0

0

Tobacco Bay

1

0

1

 

0

0

Snorkel Park

1

4

79

0

1

5

cfu/100ml = colony forming units per 100 millilitres of water

Single day sample should be <104 cfu/100ml (1986 EPA guideline)

Less than 10% samples should be  >130 cfu/100ml  (2012 EPA guideline)



Seawater Sampling Results for  2013

Site

Count
(# samples April-Nov 2013)

Enterococci Geometric mean
(cfu/100ml)

% samples Enterococci
>104 (cfu/100ml)

% samples  Enterococci
>130 (cfu/100ml)

Meets EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria

Elbow Beach Central

28

1.4

0

0

Yes

Elbow Beach East

29

1.3

0

0

Yes

Elbow Beach West

29

1.4

0

0

Yes

Grape Bay

25

1.3

0

0

Yes

Warwick Long Bay

23

1.3

4.3*

0

Yes

Horseshoe Bay

28

2.3

7.1**

3.6*

Yes

Hungry Bay

25

7.6

4.0*

4.0*

Yes

John Smiths Bay

27

1.7

0

0

Yes

Clearwater Beach

15

1.7

0

0

Yes

Shelly Bay

26

5.3

7.7**

7.7**

Yes

Tobacco Bay

26

5.6

7.7**

3.8*

Yes

Snorkel Park

25

5.6

0

0

Yes

* Corresponds to one elevated sample result for the period
**Corresponds to two elevated sample results for the period

Notes:

  1. cfu/100ml = colony forming units per 100 millilitres of water
  2. Geometric mean was calculated for the period April  to November 2013
  3. Geometric mean of samples should be < 35 cfu/100ml
  4. Single day sample should be <104 cfu/100ml (1986 EPA guideline)
  5. Less than 10% samples should be  >130 cfu/100ml  (2012 EPA guideline)
  6. Lowest geometric mean possible is 1cfu/100ml

References

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria

Boards and Committees  
Bermuda Psychologists Registration Council

Board of Dietitians

Board of Diagnostic Imaging Technologists

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Bermuda Addiction Certification Board

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