Our beaches given green light in 2013 water survey

St Leonards beach. 3/1/12
St Leonards beach. 3/1/12

BEACHES along the Hastings and St Leonards sea front have been given the green light in an annual quality survey.

However the Marine Conservation Society survey saw St Leonards beach drop one rating from recommended in 2012 to mandatory in 2013.

The minimum rating for protecting bathers from bacterial pollution is mandatory. Hastings remained mandatory.

The recommended rating is slightly higher than the guideline.

Water samples are taken once a week between May and September by the local council or the Environment Agency.

They are then analysed to check for pollution.

Some of the bacteria in infected water can cause ear, nose and throat infections or stomach upsets.

This year 83 out of 124 beaches in the South East obtained the MCS Recommended standard for excellent water quality, 10 less than in 2012.

With a smaller decline in water quality the region has the highest percentage of its beaches recommended this year.

Rachel Wyatt, coast pollution officer for MCS, said: “The St Leonards rating is downgraded because of a higher detection of bacteria.

“But it still has the minimum rating of Mandatory.

“Relentless rain and floods in the UK last summer led to more bacteria and viruses ending up in our waters.”