Published: June 29, 2011
Online sea water quality checking tool proves popular in Burnham

Thousands of people interested in the quality of sea water on Burnham-On-Sea beach have used a new online checking tool launched recently by Wessex Water. reported in May how the new website allows users to check water quality at 47 bathing waters in the region. It has attracted 4,500 users within the first two months of going live.

The firm said on Wednesday (June 29th) that beaches in Somerset have received the highest number of visits with Weston-super-Mare being the most popular beach that people sought information on, followed closely by Burnham-On-Sea.

Wessex Water says it is the first water and sewerage company to provide information online that shows if any storm overflows have operated which may have affected bathing water quality.

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are used during intense rainfall so that excess storm water can be released into rivers or the sea to prevent homes and roads from being flooded.

Ruth Barden, Wessex Water’s head of environment and conservation, said: "There has been a phenomenal amount of interest in the website facility with people throughout our region checking water quality at their nearest beach. We carefully manage wastewater and storm water discharges throughout our sewerage network and at sewage treatment works to help protect bathing water quality and ensure high standards are maintained."

Andy Cummins, campaign director for Surfers Against Sewage, welcomed the move by Wessex Water to make sewer overflow information available online. He said: "It’s great to see Wessex Water provide information at all their bathing waters, allowing beach users in the region to make more informed decisions about how and when they use the water."

Wessex Water said it welcomed visitors to provide feedback about the website, which was launched initially as a trial. It is available at


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