Quality of water at Weston beach improves but Uphill downgraded to ‘poor’

Weston beach's water quality has improved. Picture: Mark Atherton

Weston beach's water quality has improved. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

Water quality on one of Weston’s beaches has been classified as poor, a new survey has revealed.

The bathing water in Uphill's Slipway was stated to be below standards after tests conducted by the Environment Agency during the summer months.

The report by the Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs' 2019 stated the water quality in this bathing water tends to fluctuate due to its proximity to the River Axe.

Last year the water was classified sufficient.

It states: "Uphill is affected by the river and quality can deteriorate because there is a strong seasonality in pollution levels, especially following periods of heavy rain which affects the quality of both the river and bathing water.

"The source of this will be investigated further in 2020."

The bathing water off Burnham Jetty also received a poor rating.

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However, the report also revealed that Weston Main Beach, Sand Bay and Clevedon now meet the stringent bathing water standards.

The main beach was handed a poor rating last year following analysis of samples taken between 2015 and 2018.

Last year, the report stated sewage debris had been visible during seven per cent of visits, with litter visible during 85 per cent of visits.

Matt Lenny, director of public health at North Somerset Council said: "We are pleased that the quality of bathing water for Weston Main Beach has improved.

"This follows 12 months of joint working with our partners, including the Environment Agency, Wessex Water and local landowners."

The bathing water results are announced annually and are based on a variety of samples taken by the Environment Agency in the summer season.

Readings can vary depending on a number of factors including the weather, pollution from agricultural and urban sources and storm water overflows

To help keep the bathing waters clean, people can put litter in the bin or dispose of it at home.

The Environment Agency says people should never flush wet wipes, cotton buds or sanitary products and never pour fats, oils and grease down drains because these can pollute rivers and coastal waters.