May 17, 2015
Environment Agency puts Burnham's sea water quality data online

A new website has been launched by the Environment Agency giving constantly updated information about sea water quality in Burnham-On-Sea as new EU regulations come into force.

It comes after Burnham was this week placed on an Environment Agency list of 25 British beaches that are at risk of failing to meet the new European water quality standards this year.

More than 99% of English beaches passed last year's tests, but this is forecast to drop by 6%, with the water of 25 beaches possibly classed as "poor" due to the more stringent EU standards.

Each week until the end of September, Environment Agency (EA) officials will wade in to the sea to take water samples in Burnham and at 400 locations across England.

The agency's results will be available on a new web page here with sea quality warnings.

Burnham has already installed a sea quality warning sign on the town's jetty building to display if the standards have been passed and whether or not people should swim.

Under the new EU regulations, in order to attain the "excellent" rating, the concentration level of bacteria can be only half of what used to be allowed. It will also be harder to avoid the bottom "poor rating" under the regulations, which were introduced in January.

Meanwhile, Wessex Water has a programme of work underway at Highbridge's water treatment plant to improve the sea water quality in Burnham-On-Sea.

Ed Mitchell, executive director of environment and business at the Environment Agency, said: "Good bathing water is essential for people's health, local tourism and economic growth, and these new higher standards for bathing water will further protect the public."


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