Leilah shares this latest news from Southern Water. Ed
Southern Water reveals Shanklin has been chosen for an investment of around £6.6m to help protect and enhance the ‘beauty of the beach’
Today (Monday 15 May) is the start of bathing water season. To mark the occasion Southern Water has announced Shanklin is one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ beaches where we will be working alongside local authorities and others to improve bathing water quality as part of our ground-breaking £31.5m Bathing Water Enhancement Programme.
This comes after a year of detailed investigations in the area by a team of experts into what factors influence water quality – including coastal sampling, microbial (DNA) source tracing and CCTV surveys.
Boost for bathing water
Southern Water’s Paul Kent has overseen the Bathing Water Enhancement Programme. He said:
“We’re immensely proud of this groundbreaking project and Shanklin was selected after a year long investigation in the sources of pollution.
“Our customers asked us to help boost more bathing waters in the region up to Excellent standard and, with the support of local authorities and others, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
“We’re thrilled to be playing such an active part in protecting and enhancing our region’s bathing waters.”
What affects water quality at Shanklin?
Detailed investigations into what can affect bathing water quality at Shanklin found key factors include:
- Misconnections of wastewater pipes into the surface water. These misconnections can be traced to source by Southern Water and the local council can then work with householders to get the problem put right.
- DNA tracing showed contamination from dogs and seabirds was another key issue. Potential remedies include introducing restrictions on the beach during bathing water season and a public awareness campaign around not feeding birds as well as encouraging dog owners to clean up after their pets.
- Agricultural run-off. Solutions include working with key stakeholders, including agricultural landowners.
The Magnificent Seven
In total seven bathing waters were chosen to receive additional investment, with the aim of them achieving ‘Excellent’ status over the 2019 bathing water season and beyond. These are:
Isle of Wight: Shanklin
Kent: Deal Castle, Leysdown, Minster Leas
Sussex: Worthing, Selsey, Middleton-on-Sea