LOVEmyBEACH is delighted to announce it has bagged £2,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme. Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £79 million to over 26,000 local community projects. Million..
Water is the stuff of life, but how often do any of us really think about it? That’s all set to change this month with the launch of the Love Water campaign on 31st July. The campaign is led by a coalition of over 40 organisations including LOVEmyBEACH, the Environment Agency, Water UK, National Farmer’s Union (NFU), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), water companies and othe..
This summer, people across the North West are being invited to get down to the coast as an exciting programme of events is launched to get people active on the beach to improve their health and well-being. The Active Coast programme will launch in the week commencing 22nd July, when local authorities across the North West coast will be showcasing..
World Oceans Day reminds us all of the actions we can take to help protect and conserve our oceans. It’s a chance for us to change behaviour, challenge others and celebrate one of our greatest natural assets. We work with our partners including Marine Conservation Society, Keep Britain Tidy, Surfers Against Sewage, water companies, local authorities and others to raise awa..
Wednesday 15 May marks the start of the bathing water season and more than 400 bathing waters in England will undergo regular testing between now and the end of September. Last year 97.9% of bathing waters met the minimum standard and of those, 388 achieved the highest standards of Excellent and Good. There are four classifications of bathing waters; Excellent, Good, Suffici..
The Environment Agency monitors bathing waters – stretches of sea or lake where many people swim and paddle – to assess whether they meet the strict standards of the European Bathing Water Directive. The standards are set to protect public health and the environment from pollution.
The Environment Agency takes 20 water samples at each bathing water between May and September each year and post the information online: http://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/
The samples are tested for certain types of bacteria: escherichia coli (E.coli) and intestinal enterococci, which are not directly harmful but indicate the presence of pollution. The bacteria are found in the intestines of animals and humans and pass through the body in poo. High levels of bacteria = poor water quality.
However, the water may be cleaner on the actual day you visit the beach, as the quality can change, particularly after heavy rain washes pollution into rivers and the sea. Look out for daily forecasts at some beaches.
Each beach is also given an annual classification. From 2015 this is based on sample results over the previous four years, e.g. 2015 results use data from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. 2016 results use data from 2013 to 2016 and so on. The classifications are:
The standard is the highest, cleanest class
Generally good water quality
The water meets the minimum standards
Bathing is not advised at this beach as water quality has not met sufficient standards
If a bathing water is classed as Poor, you are advised not to bathe because samples taken over the previous four years have been affected by pollution. This does not mean the beach is closed – you can still enjoy everything the beach has to offer.
If a water sample has high levels of bacteria, analysis is done to estimate* the sources of pollution and work is planned in the area to improve water quality. When this work is significant and is expected to help improve bathing water quality, the four years of data for the annual classification starts from the time the work is completed and sample data from before the work are not included. This is called step change.
*Estimates are based on computer modelling, DNA analysis, and knowledge of the local area. The estimates can never be perfect because pollution to bathing waters changes from day to day depending on the season, the tides and the weather.