St Leonards bathing water rated ‘excellent’

St Leonards seafront. Picture by Steve Hunnisett
St Leonards seafront. Picture by Steve Hunnisett

St Leonards’ bathing water has passed new tougher standards for cleanliness.

It was given an ‘Excellent’ rating by the Environment Agency.

In 2014, 2013 and 2012, St Leonards’ beach water was labelled as ‘Good’.

The water quality in St Leonards was monitored between May 1 and September 30 this year.

An online report by the Environment Agency says: “This bathing water is subject to short-term pollution, which is caused when heavy rainfall washes faecal material into the sea from livestock, sewage and urban drainage via rivers and streams.

“At this site the risk of encountering reduced water quality increases after rainfall and typically returns to normal after one to three days. Twenty warnings advising against swimming due to an increase risk of short-term pollution were issued in 2015 for St Leonards bathing water. These warnings were issued because of the effects of heavy rain on the water quality.

“During 1998, improvements were made to dual manhole systems and storm overflows in the Hastings and St Leonards catchment to lessen storm discharges of sewage to the surface water system.”

Councillor Warren Davies, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for environment, said: “Having clean, safe bathing water is vital to us as a seaside town so this is very good news indeed. It demonstrates what can be achieved when partners work together and we will continue to do this so that our bathing water quality can be further protected.”

St Leonards is one of 264 English beaches to be rated as ‘Excellent’ for bathing water quality.

Environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, which runs the Blue Flag scheme in England, welcomed the news.

Paul Todd, Blue Flag programme manager, said: “This is great news for these resorts and for the millions of people who visit these beaches every year.

“Meeting the stricter water quality standards is testament to all the hard work that has been done by local authorities, water companies and others to improve our bathing water quality.

“The fact that more beaches are now eligible to apply to fly a Blue Flag next summer is fantastic news. The Blue Flag is a great way to let the public know that these beaches are a safe and welcoming place for everyone to enjoy.”

The Blue Flag awards are quality marks for beaches that meet the highest standard for cleanliness and facilities.

Relief as Hastings passes tough new bathing water standards

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