Over the last 20 years we’ve made huge progress in making our beaches and bathing waters cleaner.
In 1988 only 18% of our bathing waters met minimum standards, in 2016 this was 100%.
Below is information on how we got there and how we’ll keep it that way…

Call of Nature

It’s World Toilet Day on Sunday 19th November; a UN initiative aiming to improve global sanitation. Although the majority of the North West waste water is safely treated through the United Utilities network risks to local rivers and seas are still prevalent through privately maintained waste water treatment works.

The Call of Nature campaign has been designed to inform occupants of septic tanks, cesspits & package sewage treatment plants about the risks their tanks pose to animals and the environment if their facilities are poorly maintained.

Poorly maintained tanks are often incidental in nature with owners simply forgetting that the maintenance of their tanks is due. That’s why LOVEmyBEACH officers Hannah Barnes and Stephanie Wyatt are visiting areas around Haverigg, Millom and Seascale on Friday 17th November raising awareness about the campaign, reminding residents to check their tanks and suggesting World Toilet Day as a notable date for future checks.

Hannah added;

“It would be great if septic tank households could do their bit to protect our rivers and seas by checking annually that their facilities are connected right and maintained properly and what a better day to do it on than World Toilet Day!”

The website; www.callofnature.info contains everything owners need to know about septic tank maintenance and also includes some top tips on efficiency such as only ever flushing the 3p’s; pee, poo and paper and avoiding any fats and food going down the kitchen sink.

For those owners who are on top of their maintenance the website provides insight into new regulations that come into force in 2020.

Toilet pic

Cleaner Seas!

Whether you swim, paddle, or simply enjoy a stroll on one of the region’s many beaches, you can be assured, once again, that the quality of the water is cleaner than at any time in the last 30 years.

For the second year in a row the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published statistics that reveal that all 31 of the North West’s bathing waters meet the government’s required standards for water quality.

The 2017 classifications of bathing waters across the North West (27 coastal, 4 in-land) are;

11 are Excellent – the highest, cleanest class and the required standard to quality for Blue Flag status; 14 are Good – generally good water quality; 6 are Sufficient – the water meets minimum standard and 0 are Poor.

You can check the water quality for your nearest beach by using our map feature.

The results mean Blackpool is expected to retain its hard-earned Blue Flag status for Blackpool South, opposite the Pleasure Beach, with the water rated Excellent for a third year running.

With improvements at Blackpool North, now rated Good, all the Fylde coast bathing waters are now classified as either Good or Excellent, highlighting the huge improvement in sea water quality across the region.

A range of stakeholders have contributed to reducing pollution and improving the regions rivers, lakes and the sea, including the Environment Agency, United Utilities and the local authorities.

Additionally, hundreds of residents from across the North West have engaged with LOVEmyBEACH; acting on advice related to what not to flush and picking up after their dogs at the beach.

A huge thank you is extended to those who play an active part in keeping their local beach and sea clean conducting beach cleans every week. Over 8,000 hours of volunteering hours were dedicated by volunteers in 2016/17 on the Fylde coast alone!

LOVEmyBEACH officer for the Fylde coast, Emma Whitlock added, “Our volunteers don’t just help by removing the litter at the source but they are also advocates of important messages including what not to flush and pour. They help spread the message to everyone who lives, works and visits the North West that they can make changes that help us have cleaner seas.”

#cleanerseas

Please support #binit4beaches

Hundreds of bags of dog poo have been found on the UK’s beaches according to the Marine Conservations Society’s 2016 research; with 792 bags recorded at 364 beaches by volunteers over the Great British Beach Clean weekend in September last year. However these numbers don’t show the full scale of the problem; beach clean volunteers do not record unbagged waste therefore the total amount of dog poo left by some owners on our beautiful beaches remains unknown.

Many people believe that leaving dog poo on the beach is OK because the tide washes it away, however this natural disposal technique isn’t the best thing for our beautiful beaches and seas. Bacteria present in dog poo is potentially harmful to beach users and can affect water quality in a negative way.

LOVEmyBEACH are just one of many organisations and campaigns from across the UK uniting this week for #binit4beaches; a campaign focused on reducing pollution and litter at the beach.

Millions of people head to the UK’s beaches to relax, paddle and swim every year and we want water quality to be the best it can be. Last year 98.5% of the UK’s bathing waters met the tough minimum standards. By working together, we can continue to help protect and improve water quality.

For those of you who already bag it and bin it please help raise awareness of this topic during our awareness week between the 30th October and the 5th November. Simply share this picture on social media and include the hashtag #binit4beaches or why not take a photo of your and your dog doing the right thing to help encourage others to do the same?

For those who used to leave dog poo on the beach, thank you for reading this and considering a new approach.

Together we can help make our beaches safe for everyone to enjoy.

Barney and binit4beaches