Revitalised Castle Peak Beach to end 24-year swimming ban

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 May, 2005, 12:00am

Castle Peak Beach in Tuen Mun will reopen next month after being closed to swimmers for 24 years because of poor water quality.

The 2.97-hectare beach, with a swimming zone of 8,000 square metres, has been closed since 1981 because the water quality was classified as unsuitable for beachgoers.

After more than two decades and extensive rehabilitation by the government, swimmers can now enjoy the west New Territories beach.

A Leisure and Cultural Services Department spokesman said that since 2000, improvement works had been carried out at Castle Peak Beach, including the dredging of silt on the seabed and an upgrade to the beach area.

'There has been water-quality improvement in recent years due to implementation of pollution-control measures and sewerage programmes. The water quality of Castle Peak Beach is now generally kept at Grade 2, which is suitable for swimming,' said the department spokesman.

A shark net was also installed on Tuesday in a bid to ensure a safer swimming environment.

The beach's reopening will bring to five the number available for public use in Tuen Mun. The others are Butterfly Beach, Kadoorie Beach, Cafeteria Old Beach, Cafeteria New Beach and Golden Beach.

'Castle Peak Beach will be an alternative for nearby residents and all other swimmers this summer,' the spokesman said.

Despite the rosy picture for beaches in Tuen Mun, such is not the case for Silverstrand Beach in Sai Kung.

The department said it had been closed because of a downgrade in water quality to Grade 4, meaning it was unsuitable for swimming.

'The very poor water quality of Silverstrand Beach is due to heavy rain which flushed pollutants from the beach hinterland into the water,' he said.

It would reopen only when water quality had been improved, he added.