November 12, 2015
MEP pledges to help Burnham improve its 'poor' EU sea water grade

Burnham-On-Sea's MEP says she is confident the town can improve its sea water quality rating after it was officially given a low grading last week under new EU bathing water standards.

As we first reported last week, a tourism fightback is underway after the EU gave Burnham a 'poor' sea water grade the long-expected announcement came that bathing water standards at Burnham Jetty have been rated 'poor' while Berrow is classed as 'good' and Brean 'excellent'.

MEP Julie Girling, pictured with MP James Heappey on Burnham beach, told this week: "Whilst this new grading for Burnham’s water quality is disappointing it is unfortunately not unexpected. European standards for water quality have been made tougher in order to benefit those using bathing water."

"There has been massive investment by Wessex Water to help improve bathing water in this area and I will continue to work with local MP James Heappey and others to ensure that Burnham meets the higher standards in future."

"Given the actions already taken we would expect to see significant improvements in the next couple of years."

Burnham's MP James Heappey added: "I know that a great deal of investment has already been made and all are clear on what must be done. I have every confidence that they will continue in their work and that Burnham will meet the standards in the future."

"However, this is a blow for Burnham and local residents and businesses will expect progress to be quick and no stone left unturned so that this is put right as soon as possible. Whilst I accept that the quality of the water has not deteriorated – this is purely the consequence of a change in classification by the EU – we cannot hide behind that."

"Burnham-On-Sea has always been a fantastic place to come on holiday, tens of thousands of families do so every year and they have a great time whilst they’re here. But reputations can be lost quickly and so we must accelerate our efforts to make sure that this grade is improved and Burnham remains a fantastic place to come on holiday for centuries to come."

Plenty is being done to improve the town's sea water quality. We first reported last week that a new coastal community officer is to be appointed to help Burnham improve its sea water quality alongside other projects.

And Wessex Water has a project of major work underway at Highbridge's water treatment plant to improve local sea water quality.

Earlier this year the Environment Agency installed a sea quality warning sign on Burnham jetty to display the latest water standards to act as guidance.


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