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  • Bathing water compliance

    Bathing water quality 660

    Weather, industrial and agricultural influences can impact negatively on the water quality at the region’s beaches.

    Prior to the revised Bathing Water Directive taking effect in 2015, we had identified Burnham Jetty as the only bathing water within our region that would fail to meet the 'satisfactory' standard due to the directive's change of classification and tightening of standards.

    The failure at Burnham Jetty as a result of this tightening, rather than any underlying deterioration in water quality, is why our performance commitment for beaches passing EU bathing standards is 98% in 2015 against our target of 100%.

    Outputs from the National Environmental Programme, which we completed during the year thereby achieving 100% performance against target to deliver agreed schemes, include:

    • screening an overflow at East Quay in Bridgwater
    • installation of 91 event duration monitors
    • building an ultraviolet disinfection plant to treat overflows from our storm tanks at Highbridge.

    We are active participants in a multi-agency group comprising the Environment Agency, local authority, internal drainage board, catchment sensitive farming team and others to ensure all parties are coordinated to deliver water quality improvements.

    We are supporting a coastal engagement officer who is working with communities in Burnham to raise awareness of water quality and increase ownership of the beach. This includes campaigns on sewer misuse, dog fouling and beach litter.

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