New EU regulations 'will hit Burnham's tourism trade' warns report
warning has been issued that Burnham's tourism trade could be
hit from the year 2015 when new EU regulations will likely recommend
that visitors do not swim from the town's beach.
councillors have expressed concern about a new document from the
Enviroment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council that predicts
Burnham's sea water bathing quality will be classified as 'poor',
the lowest category possible.
bathing water at Burnham, Berrow and Brean has not deteriorated,
but as a result of EU legislation and new bathing water regulations,
water quality sampling will be more stringent," explains
Sedgemoor's Phil Perkins in the Briefing Note.
Environment Agency will start monitoring using the new standards
this year and will report the first classifications in 2015. As
the situation currently stands, there is an expectation that Burnham-On-Sea
will be classified as 'poor' in 2015 while Berrow and Brean are
likely to be classified as 'sufficient'."
a site is classified as 'poor', certain measures must be taken
and advice against bathing posted at the location. If a site is
classified as 'poor' for five consecutive seasons, permanent advice
against bathing is put in place."
and tourism could be affected after 2015," adds the report.
Sedgemoor District Council is working in partnership with the
Environment Agency and Wessex Water to improve bathing water quality.
The authorities are investigating a number of pollution sources,
such as surface water systems and sewerage infrastructure."
town councillors have asked for more information about the work
to improve the water quality.
County Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton said: "This is a
concern. I am interested to hear what can be done to avoid this
classification given that our water quality is not deteriorating."
town councillor Phil Harvey added: "We certainly want to
avoid our beaches being plastered with signs saying 'do not bathe
is also planning to hold a number of community engagement events
over the next three years to provide more information about the
changes. Residents can also contact the Environment Agency's incident
reporting hotline on 0800 163300 if they spot pollution.