Wet summer blamed for dip in water quality

Pease Bay

Pease Bay

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Last year’s miserable summer is being blamed for a slump in the standard of bathing water at Scotland’s beaches, with the number of recommended beaches the lowest for some years.

Of the three surveyed in Berwickshire only Pease Bay merited recommended status from the Marine conservation Society who published the results today in their annual Good Beach Guide.

Coldignham, which is normally ranked in the upper eschalons of the bathing water table, has only received a mandatory grading for this year, based on samples taken during 2012’s particularly dreary summer.

This grading means that 95% of samples did not exceed 2,000 E.coli per 100 ml, with Eyemouth also achieving the same result.

Eyemouth’s bathing water has enjoyed a mixed bag of results in the last few years, failing on a number of occasions but fortunately for locals and tourists who flock to Berwickshire every year, neither it or any others in the area or neighbouring East Lothian failed to achieve the minimum criteria required to avoid a red mark.

Like Eyemouth and Coldingham, Dunbar East achieved a mandatory pass while Dunbar Belhaven is alongside Pease Bay as one of only 42 recommended beaches in this year’s beach guide.

The Marine Conservation Society say the results highlight stalled progress in the way the Scottish Government, Scottish Water and local authorities are working toward making the country’s seas safer..

Steps have been taken to try and improve bathing water quality in north west England, Wales and Northern Ireland and MCS Scotland programme manager Calum Duncan said it was vital organisations north of the border followed suit.

He commented: “Action must be taken now. With stricter bathing water standards from 2015 and summers that appear to be getting wetter, the iconic image of people bathing off golden beaches could be at serious risk.

“These latest figures must be a wake up call to the Scottish Government, to Scottish Water and to all the local authorities who must all play a part in finding a solution to this issue. .

“If we don’t all work together now, the impacts could be a major blow to Scotland’s tourist economy if, after 2015, some beaches could be closed to bathers if they repeatedly fail basic standards.”