13 May Looking after our coastline during bathing waters season – and all year round!
Anglian Water work alongside local authorities and the Environment Agency to protect and improve bathing water quality around the coastline. ‘Designated Bathing Waters’ are sites where bacteria levels in the water are monitored by the Environment Agency between May and September. These results are then published and available to beach visitors, both at the bathing water sites themselves, and on the Environment Agency’s Swimfo site.
Designated Bathing Waters are given a classification of ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’, ‘Sufficient’, or ‘Poor’, based on the numbers of bacteria in the water across a four-year period. From Leigh on Sea to Shoeburyness, there are eight designated bathing water sampling points along the Southend coast. Five of these have the classification of ‘Excellent’, the highest classification available.
One of the ways to reduce risk to bathing water quality is to reduce the risk of pollution events caused by blockages and unflushables. Ensuring unflushables end up in a bin instead of down the loo reduces the risk of cotton buds and wet wipes ending up on beaches. According to the Marine Conservation Society, during their 2020 Great British Beach Clean, an average of 18 wet wipes were found per 100m of beach. Another source of blockages can be fats oils and greases; you may have seen the massive ‘fatbergs’ blocking sewers in the news; however sewer pipes are often smaller and more easy to block than you’d think.
We are hoping to see a reduction in these types of blockages, following the completion of our ‘Flush to Treatment’ scheme in Southend, which collected more than 200 tonnes of unflushable material from the sewer network -more than the weight of two blue whales! However, if you do spot signs of sewage pollution in the environment, such as grey water or unflushables, please report this to Anglian Water on 03457 145 145.
Thank you to SAVS and the Triple Ts for your continued support.
If you are interested in Anglian Water’s work around the coastline, feel free to email us at CoastalWaterProtectionTeam@anglianwater.co.uk, or follow our work at www.twitter.com/AWCoastCountry.