DNA testing to find the reason for drop in quality of Hastings sea water

Hastings beach
Hastings beach
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HIGH-TECH research is being done into the water off the Hastings coast to find out how it is being polluted.

This week the Environment Agency (EA) announced it was publishing 500 bathing water profiles to give swimmers more information about the cleanliness of the water around UK beaches.

But the Hastings profile revealed there are ongoing concerns over pollution in the sea here, which EA officers believe may be linked to the streams in Alexandra Park. Hastings beach has met national clean water standards every year since 1998 but in recent years the water quality has dropped, and now EA scientists are using DNA tracing to investigate whether the faecal pollution discovered is human or animal.

The water off the St Leonards beach is cleaner than Hastings, but the EA profile still raises concerns that it is “vulnerable to pollution”.

The bathing profiles include maps showing where rivers, streams, drains and treated sewage run into the sea, and explain what concerns the EA has about each site and what they are doing to address those concerns.

David Howarth, of the EA said: “Our profiles provide key facts for the public on the cleanliness of bathing waters. They give the most comprehensive information yet, helping people make informed choices about when and where to bathe.”

Visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/bathingwaters to read the profiles.