Weston’s beach to be tested by EA

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 June 2014

Enjoying the hot sun on Weston's beach.

Enjoying the hot sun on Weston's beach.

Archant

THE water quality of Weston’s beach will be tested by the Environment Agency before new and stricter standards are brought in.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) bathing water monitoring teams will be out in the South West every week until the end of September, taking samples from almost 200 spots.

The EA says there will be much more stringent water quality targets to achieve under the revised Bathing Water Directive in 2015, and it is concentrating on tackling sources of pollution before the new targets come into operation.

A recent sample from the Uphill slipway was ranked at a ‘higher standard’, whereas last year it was marked at a ‘minimum standard’.

Bathing water at Sand Bay was also given the ‘higher standard’ mark, which it also received last year.

Both samples for Uphill and Sand Bay were taken on May 11 this year.

The new directive introduces a fresh ranking scheme, where beaches will be rated as excellent, good, sufficient or poor.

Last year, the majority of the South West passed the minimum European bathing water quality standards and a record 91 per cent of the beaches met new stricter guideline standards.

Jonathan Ponting, from the EA, said: “With only a year to go until our bathing waters need to meet tighter standards everyone has a part to play in improving bathing water quality.

“We are focusing on those beaches which might struggle to meet the new targets.

“We are working with water companies, local authorities and farmers to identify and tackle sources of pollution so beaches meet the new standards, and the seaside tourist economy in the South West of England continues to thrive.”

Detailed online profiles for bathing water can be found via www.gov.uk/quality-of-local-bathing-water or go to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/bathingwaters

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