Ramsey’s north beach has been given ‘good bathing status’ after samples were tested by the government.
The beach had been tested for two seasons before it was granted and has now been given its ranking.
To get bathing water status the beach has to regularly meet monthly water testing targets set by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.
Ramsey Town Commissioners applied for North Ramsey to be designated by DEFA in 2020, but this was refused because of a lack of physical data.
Following this decision, the Manx Utilities Authority agreed to sample water from the beach for two years to assess the standard of the bathing water.
The government data for 2021 shows that all but three readings from Ramsey north beach bathing water samples were ranked either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
The end-of-season classification using the two years’ worth of bathing water data came out as ‘Good’, which is the minimum classification for designation under the Water Pollution Scheme 2021.
Water from the island’s beaches are tested against European Union bathing water standards.
However, Ramsey commissioner Wilf Young is unsure about the validity of that status due to the proximity of the sewage system to the shore.
The government’s website says: ‘Bathing water quality can be impacted by any discharge or other release of untreated or only partially treated sewage to sea deposits large numbers of micro-organisms into the sea water, which have a significant influence on bathing water quality on beaches.’
A spokesperson for the department said: ‘Manx Utilities has reviewed the modelling of its [sewage] infrastructure and by updating the DEFA sampling location, it has been determined that it will not impact on bathing water quality.
‘Subsequently the commissioners have applied for North Ramsey to be designated for the 2023 bathing season and this has been approved.’
Mr Young said: ‘I’ll not be satisfied with the status until the DEFA people swim in that shore themselves.’
The sewage system in Ramsey was replaced in 2017 to replace the Victorian system that was in place.
The sewage run-off is located 900 metres north of the beach, according to the government’s website, which also states that the discharge from Ramsey north beach is given ‘full treatment’.
Mr Young continued: ‘I just want to put a sign put up warning people to not swim near the sewer outlet.’
DEFA has confirmed that signs will be installed at two of the access points to the beach where the samples are collected to inform members of the public about the designation.
The department has also said that commissioners will be allowed to put up additional signs if they deem it necessary.
l A private meeting between DEFA and the Ramsey Commissioners is to be held on February 22 to explain the department’s findings.