sea quality could be hit if UV treatment is stopped'
have been raised this week that plans by Wessex Water to switch
off UV treatment of sea water in Burnham over the winter to save
money will adversely impact the town's sea water quality - just
months after it was given a 'poor' rating by the EU.
councillors have this week reacted with dismay at the proposals
by the water firm to save money by turning off UV treatment from
the winter of 2017.
sea water quality was given a 'poor' rating earlier this year when
stricter new EU bathing water quality standards came into force
and efforts have been underway this year to try and improve Burnham's
sea water quality.
UV disinfection process is used to stop bacteria reproducing and
it makes bathing water quality better to meet EU standards.
councillor Paul Young told this week's meeting: "Our sea water
quality has already been downgraded - we can't risk it getting any
worse with Wessex Water's plan to switch off UV treatment over the
Andy Brewer added: "This is very significant. Turning off the
UV treatment over the winter months is just ridiculous."
Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton added: "We cannot allow this to
be switched off - it will negatively affect Burnham's sea water
speaking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, Wessex Water's Compliance Director
Matt Whealdon said this week: "UV plants at Highbridge and
Huntspill are currently turned on all year-round but we are considering
whether there are grounds to apply for seasonal permits from the
Environment Agency to turn them off outside of the main bathing
added that Wessex Water would save 460 mega watt hours of electricity
that's currently used to power the plants over the winter along
with over 270 tonnes of CO2 emmissions which, he says, "is
our main driver."
are just as keen as the local council that Burnham meets the EU
bathing water standards, however we need to look closely at how
many people actually benefit from this UV treatment over the winter
when no swimming or paddling takes place."
said the firm "is all ears" on the matter and that no
final decision has yet been made to switch off the UV treatment
plants, adding: "We carried out a survey of sea water users
in the Burnham-On-Sea area and had a very low response but we do
still welcome feedback."
Burnham windsurfer told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's disgraceful
the company is considering switching off UV treatment which would
harm people like myself and fishermen who use the sea here all year-round."
comes as work is underway by Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset,
Wessex Water, Sedgemoor District Council and the Environment Agency
to try and improve the sea water quality in Burnham-On-Sea with
various initiatives underway to improve the sea water quality.