Budleigh and Ladrum Bay fail strict water quality test

PUBLISHED: 11:49 18 November 2010

BUDLEIGH Salterton and Ladram Bay have failed to pass strict new European bathing water quality standards.

BUDLEIGH Salterton and Ladram Bay have failed to pass strict new European bathing water quality standards.

There are two sets of standards in reporting bathing water quality: the basic mandatory standard that must be met and the higher guideline standards which are 20 times more stringent.

And while both beaches are among 11in the region to have failed to pass the tighter European benchmark, compared to 26 last year, they did pass the lower standard.

The revised Bathing Water Directive, due to be introduced in 2015, sets more stringent water quality standards and puts a stronger emphasis on beach management and public information – Seaton was the only East Devon beach to fail both tests.

The Environment Agency monitors bathing water quality weekly at 493 sites in England and Wales during the bathing season from May to September.

The bathing water quality results announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show 175 of the 191 tested sites in the South West met European guideline standard – up from 84 per cent in 2009.

Alan Burrows for the Environment Agency said: “We are delighted for all beach users that so many bathing waters met the higher quality requirement this year but there is still more work to be done.

“The introduction of the new revised bathing water directive in 2015 will mean we all have to strive to meet even better standards.

“This includes working with farmers and other partners to reduce the amount of pollution caused by amongst other things animal waste.”

He said they were working East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and South West Water to identify and address sources of pollution that affect bathing waters.

He added: “These can be as simple as houses where the foul drainage system has been wrongly plumbed into the surface water drain, directing domestic sewage and dirty water into the local bathing water.”

South West Water says they will be spending will be spending at least £250 million over the next five years to improve river water quality and water treatment.

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