A new electronic sign has been installed on Burnham-On-Sea seafront to warn swimmers and paddlers about sea water quality ahead of controversial new EU regulations coming into force.

The electronic sign, on the side of the jetty building at the top of Pier Street, has been introduced in time for the start of the busy tourist season.

Claire Faun, from Sedgemoor District Council, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It’s an upgraded way of communicating with beachgoers and will have a range of purposes.”

“It will be used for the bathing water quality announcements which are currently written by hand and posted up by a certain time each day.”

“The new sign will allow this to be done remotely, and can be used for all sorts of messaging.”

The sign has been installed amid fears that the EU’s more stringent bathing water standards, due to come into force over the next year, may mean that swimming is not recommended in Burnham.

However, Wessex Water has major work underway at its Highbridge water treatment facility to improve Burnham’s sea water quality, as we reported here last month.

The work will take approximately a year to complete and will involve treating storm water to a very high standard by installing innovative ultraviolet (UV) disinfection facilities.

Kelvin Brick, the firm’s project manager for the first phase, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It is vital that work is done to improve the bathing water in the area. Storm flows will be treated to a higher standard which in turn will benefit the bathing waters of Burnham Jetty and Bridgwater Bay.”