Bathing water season is here again, starting this weekend on Saturday 15th May. This is the time to get down to the beach and make the most of the beautiful coastline we have on our doorstep. After a tough year of lock downs and restrictions, the coast will be more important than ever to people’s health and wellbeing and getting out with their families, who will..
The North West is celebrating another great year of Seaside Awards! Keep Britain Tidy have today announced the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards. In the North West, 11 beaches were awarded the Seaside Award and for the first time in England, a Blue Flag has been awarded to a marina at the Royal Albert and Salthouse Dock marina in Liverpool. Seasid..
As the financial year draws to a close, we reflect on what LOVEmyBEACH has achieved on the Fylde Coast in the last 12 months! Our work towards cleaner and safer beaches has faced challenges this year. However we have adapted as best we can and still have a lot to celebrate! Please take 5 minutes to read about our work from 2020-21 in the report below (just click the link)..
Eco-friendly parents stuck for things to do with their children and teachers looking for extra activities, will be pleased to hear that they can now help them learn about how they can protect our oceans, beaches and wildlife thanks to some new resources created by LOVEmyBEACH, the environmental campaigning project from the Turning Tides Partnership. As part of the WOOP! (Wip..
There are many sources of coastal pollution, which can harm our beaches, seas and wildlife. Thankfully our North West beaches and seas are the cleanest and safest they have ever been, and we want them to stay that way. We need your help to identify and report signs of coastal pollution in order to prevent further incidents! Pollution can imp..
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.