Beach Fails at Present 1 August 2012
Newcastle beach at present fails to meet the bathing water quality standards
Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced today that one of Northern Ireland’s bathing waters has now failed to meet the required Directive standards for the 2012 bathing season.
This follows two instances of poor water quality on 28 June and 24 July. However, the Minister was also able to give reassurance that both pollution events were short–lived. Repeat samples taken within 24 hours of each failure were shown to meet the required standards.The Minister stated that both sample failures are likely to be due to the heavy rain fall experienced this summer falling on to already saturated ground, causing polluting run off from land and discharges from storm drains and sewer overflows to enter the sea.
The Minister recognises that drainage outfalls to the sea play an important role in reducing flood risk in our towns and cities, and it is important we manage their impact on the environment.
said: “Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is well aware of the
intermittent failures in bathing water quality at Newcastle. The bathing water
was designated as sensitive under Annex IIAc of the Urban Waste Water Treatment
Directive in July 2006. As a result of this designation, Northern Ireland Water
(NIW) are currently upgrading the Waste Water Treatment Works to provide
bacterial reduction of the effluent during the bathing water season. The
network is also being upgraded to afford further protection to the bathing
water. Work is scheduled for completion before the end of 2013.
“Our coastline is an asset for everyone to enjoy and which plays an important role in the economy, particularly in seaside resorts like Newcastle. I am determined that all reasonable steps will be taken to minimise health risks to the public. I have put a lot of time and effort into a number of beach summits with very successful outcomes. Newcastle will remain a priority issue now until resolved and will again be on the agenda of the late summer beach summit.”
Although water quality is intermittent at Newcastle, the public will be pleased to hear that water quality remains good at nearby Murlough. Good general advice at vulnerable sites like Newcastle is not to bathe after heavy rainfall events. The latest bathing water advice is updated weekly during the bathing season and is posted at bathing waters and on the NIEA website http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/water/quality/bathingqualityni.htm
Wider information on our beaches can be found at the new BeachNI website. http://beachni.com/