THERE has been a big improvement in the quality of water in beaches around the island.
The government’s environmental protection unit, in conjunction with the its analyst laboratory, has completed this year’s sampling and testing of sea water at the bathing beaches.
The results, interpreted against the 1976 EU Bathing Water Directive, indicate only two beaches failed to achieve the mandatory standard, Peel and Garwick.
In May, the Marine Conservation Society reported that the Isle of Man was the worst place in the British Isles to go for a swim. Only two beaches – Castletown and Derbyhaven – met the top standards.
Dr Phil Styles, the environmental protection unit’s manager, said the difference between the Marine Conservation Society’s results and the new ones was the year, since those results were based on 2011 figures, while the new ones are this year’s. The next MCS survey should reflect the better figures, he said.
A Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture spokesman said: ‘This is the best result since 2006 and the second best result since sampling began in 1989.
‘This year beaches at Douglas Summerhill, Douglas Central, Douglas Broadway, Port Soderick, Port Grenaugh, Port St Mary, Port Erin, Fenella Beach in Peel, Glen Wyllin, Kirk Michael, Jurby, Port Lewaigue and Laxey all achieved the “good” water quality standard while the beaches at Derbyhaven, Castletown and Bay-ny-Carrickey recorded “excellent” quality bathing water.
‘The results are a significant improvement on last year, which was particularly poor, when seven beaches failed to achieve the required standard for “good” quality bathing water.
‘The reason for such good results is not entirely clear as this season has experienced the heaviest summer rainfall since records began on the island, and rainfall can lead to run-off from the land contributing to bathing water quality failures.
‘This year the good and excellent results are consistent with those areas of the island where sewage treatment via IRIS is complete, the two failures are both from areas where there is no sewage treatment.
‘The Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority is progressing work on the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy which will eventually pick up the remainder of the coastal sewage discharges for treatment, so far improvements are complete at Dalby, almost complete at Jurby and planned for Kirk Michael, all of which replace inefficient sewage treatment plants.
‘It is hoped the continued progression of the strategy will maintain the improvements in the quality of the island’s bathing waters.’
Bathing water results are on display at the 19 beaches monitored and can be found on the environmental protection unit’s page of the DEFA’s website.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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