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…

Responsible dog owners #binit4beaches!

LOVEmyBEACH is supporting the latest #binit4beaches campaign. We’re asking all dog owners who love to take their pooch for a walk on the beach, to pledge to always pick up their poo!

It’s not the most glamorous job in the world but it has to be done. Just one gram of dog poo is enough to affect the quality of more than one million litres of seawater. Dog faeces contain lots of harmful bacteria that can cause problems for both humans and wildlife. It can mean health problems, such as eye/ear infections and upset tummies for bathers and paddlers that come into contact with contaminated water.

But why not just let the tide wash it away? Unfortunately dog poo doesn’t just disappear when it comes into contact with the sea, it dissolves and the bacteria will keep on hanging around in the shallow waters – exactly where people like to paddle. Protect other beach users by being a responsible owner and clearing up your dog’s mess.

So, make sure you know your poos and don’ts! Always pick up your dog’s poo at the beach (and everywhere else!) and make sure the bag goes in the bin. Leaving poo bags hanging from trees and bushes or just on the floor adds plastic pollution into the mix – something we definitely need to avoid.

Halloween posts

Check your septic tank for World Rivers Day!

Is your house one of the 60,000 properties in the North West with a private sewage treatment system or septic tank? There are lots of (simple) ways you can help protect our rivers and seas in the spirit of Word Rivers Day!

Water samples taken by the Environment Agency and the Rivers Trust highlight that certain waterways are failing the safe limits for faecal bacteria found in the water, sometimes by as much as 10 times over the limit, due to poorly maintained septic tanks.

Call of Nature is a region-wide campaign raising awareness of the pollution risks that badly maintained septic tanks, cesspits and package sewage treatment plants can cause to the North West’s rivers and waterways. The campaign advises how everyone can take action to ensure private systems are well maintained in order to protect their local environment.

The North West region has the highest number of private sewerage systems in the UK; with 60,000 properties not connected to the public sewer network. Considering the average septic tank for a household of four holds 2720 litres of wastewater, the combined volume of wastewater in the regions septic tanks would fill the equivalent of 65 Olympic size swimming pools!

A well maintained septic tank does not cause any problems; they work like miniature sewage treatment systems, which store and treat wastewater from households. However, when they are not serviced properly, there can be a number of negative consequences for rivers, seas and wildlife.

Household wastewater is teeming with bacteria, viruses and chemicals that can pass into and contaminate rivers, streams and seas if the system is faulty. Pollutants like these can harm wildlife; killing native plants, fish and shellfish. The pollutants also increase the chance of illnesses such as eye and ear infections for people using the water, from paddlers to water sports users.

Private sewage treatment systems need to be repaired or replaced if they are not in good working order by an accredited service engineer. Signs that it needs repairing or replacing will include; leaks, cracks in tank walls or pipes, blocked pipes, pools of water around the drainage point, sewage smells, a failed motor, a failed pump or a failed electrical supply.
An online toolkit is available at www.callofnature.info

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College students help improve water quality

This week, LOVEmyBEACH Campaign Manager, Stephanie Wyatt awarded Blackpool & Fylde College a ‘LOVEmyBEACH Hero’ award to recognise the work carried out by its Marine Biology students to improve bathing water quality in the area.

Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Marine Biology students have been working on real life bathing water projects, in conjunction with the Environment Agency, since 2015. Their work has included

1. Identifying redundant out-fall pipes to confirm contaminated connections

2. Undertaking in depth water quality research, using telemetered water quality probes and analysing the results

3. Working with local landowners to assess potential bacterial run-off from their land

Many of these initial research projects have led to further investigatory works by the Environment Agency and other partners; helping to protect bathing water quality across the Fylde coast.

Stephanie added: “The work undertaken by the Marine Biology students is highly commended and extremely valuable to our campaigns objective to improve and protect bathing water quality.”

Simon Bennett, Catchment Co-ordinator at the Environment Agency has been working with the college for several years on the projects and added: “Blackpool and The Fylde College is a great partner to work with; the students show impressive enthusiasm year after year and are a pleasure to work with.

“Their investigations have led to additional project work and allowed me to make applications for significant additional funding, which has in turn reduced risks to bathing water quality and the protection of Blackpool’s Blue Flag.”

B&FC science lecturer Trevor Lund said: “Real life projects are so important for our students and give them valuable industry experience as part of their study programme.

 “Working with the Environment Agency and the LOVEmyBEACH campaign highlights the importance of multi-agency working when tackling huge issues such as marine pollution.

“It is very much a ‘win-win’ situation for us. Our students get the experience of working alongside industry professionals on projects which have a big public impact and give enormous job satisfaction.

“Our students are completely engaged with this work and it really is a proud moment for the College to be awarded with a ‘LOVEmyBEACH Hero’ award.”

Anyone wishing to study a degree in Marine Biology at B&FC can enrol from Tuesday 28 August 2018 to start their course in September. The course can be studied as a foundation degree or as a full BSc. Visit www.blackpool.ac.uk for more information.

Blackpool & Fylde college receive LOVEmyBEACH award