Find out if sea water is ‘foul’

PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 May 2011

Copyright Archant Ltd

BEACHGOERS in Weston can now check water quality before heading into the sea thanks to a new information tool.

Visitors and residents are now able to find out if bathing water quality has been affected by stormwater which is flushed into the sea following heavy rainfall.

Wessex Water is the first water company in the country to publish information that shows when storm overflows have been in use.

Water and sewerage companies throughout the country occasionally use emergency and combined sewer overflows if sewers become swamped in a bid to prevent flooding.

Any foul water is ‘very dilute’ because of the large amount of rainwater in the system say Wessex Water, but campaigners have lobbied for information on when sewer overflow spills have happened.

Dr Julian Dennis, of Wessex Water, said: “Although for many years we have notified local councils if our emergency or combined sewer overflows that might affect bathing water quality have been in use, this is the first time we have been able to provide information for the public to see.”

Wessex Water said its online bathing water quality information, released a week ahead of the start of the 2011 bathing waters season, has received strong support by local councils responsible for beach management.

The company is now working to launch an app and text alert system so people can find out the latest on bathing water quality through their mobile phones.

To find out more about the new tool visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/bathingwaters

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