Bude Summerleaze fails to meet bathing water standards
By Em_Williams | Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 21:03
Following a summer of heavy rainfall, the bathing water at Bude Summerleaze has failed to meet the water quality results under the current European Bathing Water Directive. It's one of 16 in the South West that hasn't met the required standard.
According to the Environment Agency, exceptionally heavy rainfall results in more pollution being washed into our bathing waters and due to climate change, these extreme weather events could occur more often. There are six main sources of pollution, some of which can increase as a result of heavy rain. These are:
1. Rain water running off from farmland
2. Rainwater draining off populated areas
3. Wrongly connected drains from houses and businesses that pollute surface water systems
4. Animal and bird faeces on or near beaches (contains higher levels of bacteria than human faeces)
5. Items that are put down drains and toilets that clog up the sewerage system
6. Sewage overflows which activate in heavy rainfall to prevent the system backing up into houses
"Bathing water quality has improved significantly over the past two decades, but this year's significant rainfall over the summer has impacted on bathing water quality around the coast, particularly in the South West," said Richard Cresswell, Environment Agency Director for the South West.
"During intense rainfall, pollution from farmland, roads, and drains is washed into water courses that finally end up in the sea. Water companies also operate Combined Sewage Overflows to prevent sewage from backing up and flooding people's homes."
He added: "This very wet year has re-emphasised that more needs to be done by water companies, businesses, farmers and local authorities to improve the water at Britain's beaches and meet more stringent water quality targets, which will come into force in 2015. With even tighter standards for our bathing waters coming into force we really do need everyone to take action now."