Seaside Awards and Bathing Water Quality

Seaside Awards and Bathing Water Quality

Seaside Awards and Bathing Water Quality on the Fylde Coast has improved dramatically in the last 10 years. It’s down to a lot of hard work and investment, which is seen in the annual bathing water classifications.

Seaside Awards and Bathing Water Quality

The bathing water season runs from 5 May to 30 September each year. The Environment Agency tests the water each week for levels of bacteria, taking 20 samples at each site, every year.

These sites must meet strict European guidelines on water quality. The aim is to protect the health of people who may want to swim, paddle or even just splash and play there.

There are many different factors which affect these readings and can cause them to fail. We can all play a part in making sure that the water meets the highest standard possible. Please be responsible for your own actions – at home as well as near the beach.

The Seaside Awards and bathing water quality results recognise how well-managed and maintained the bathing waters are here on the Fylde Coast.

Bathing Water Quality on the Fylde Coast
Cleveleys Beach

What is the Seaside Award?

Keep Britain Tidy’s Seaside Awards are the nationwide standard for the best beaches across the UK. The flag is a symbol of quality which ensures visitors are guaranteed to find a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal stretch.

The bathing water results from the sea water samples taken the previous year are considered when Seaside Awards are allocated.

All of the Bathing Beaches on the Fylde Coast are flying Seaside Award flags for 2019.

Working Together to Make Our Beaches Great!

All this has been achieved with the work of the local councils, the Environment Agency and United Utilities. Plus of course the many residents who take part in community beach cleans along the coastline on a regular basis.

A variety of initiatives have improved the quality of beaches and bathing waters. They include building new flood defences and sustainable drainage to reduce pollution from sewage systems. Plus work on agricultural land and surface water outfalls.

Things you can do to help at the Coast

You can also play a big part in improving beaches and bathing waters.

  • Don’t drop litter,
  • Please don’t feed the birds,
  • Join beach cleans and, of course….
  • Always pick up after your dogs.
  • Finally, always follow the dog control orders and keep your dog off bathing beaches in summer

Leaving dog poo on the beach pollutes bathing waters and if a bathing water reading were to be taken after a period of heavy soiling (like a particularly beautiful weekend for example with lots of dog walking taking place) that could cause a water reading to fail.

Join a Beach Care Group

There are a number of community groups on the coast who carry out a regular programme of beach cleans. There is the Friends of Lytham Estuary, The Fairhaven Coastal Care Group who work in the Fairhaven Lake area of St Annes, and the Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group who clean the northern shingle beach off Cleveleys seafront. LoveMyBeach has groups along the coast – details of other beach cleans can be found here.

The litter and debris which is left on the strandline is both what is washed up from the seas and that which is dropped on the shores.

Why don’t you join the Rossall Beach Buddies on a clean up at Cleveleys?

Things you can do to help at Home

  • Think about what you flush at home – only flush the 3P’s (that’s pee, poo and paper!)
  • Still at home – please put fats, oils and greases in the bin

Putting ‘rubbish’ like wet wipes down your toilet and using it as a bin can lead to the sewage system blocking up. Fats and oils block sewage pipes in the same way that cholesterol blocks your arteries.

All of this goo and rubbish sets together to create ‘fatbergs’. When the sewage system gets blocked with a combination of solidified fats and debris like wet wipes, the pipes narrow and then the system can’t cope with the volume of fluid. This means there is no choice but for sewage to overflow into rivers and ultimately the sea during periods of heavy rainfall.

Seaside Awards and Bathing Water Quality on the Fylde Coast

All of the Bathing Beaches on the Fylde Coast have renewed Seaside Awards for 2019. Find out more about the Awards in each of the local resorts from the other Visit Fylde Coast websites:

Marine Litter and Plastics

Marine litter has huge consequences for wildlife and the habitat in which they live.

Entanglements in rubbish kill many birds, fish and mammals. This poor juvenile seagull was found in Cleveleys, entangled in fishing line and hooks.

Seagull tangled in fishing line and hooks
Seagull tangled in fishing line and hooks

Many more die because they have eaten so much plastic, having mistaken it for food, that they literally starve to death.

Plastics never disappear – they stay in the environment forever. Eventually they break down into micro-plastics and enter the food chain when they are eaten by microscopic organisms.

That’s why being careful with your litter, and litter picking, is so important.

Bathing Water Quality on the Fylde Coast
Blackpool was awarded its first ever Blue Flag in May 2016

Improving Bathing Water Quality on the Fylde Coast

Since 2011 the Fylde Peninsula Water Management Partnership has worked hard to look after Bathing Water Quality on the Fylde Coast.

The Partnership is made up of public and private sector companies. There’s been increased investment in the sewer network, as well as the creation of teams of volunteers and businesses to look after the quality of the Fylde Coast seas.

At the same time, the Turning Tides partnership in the North West is creating bathing waters that the region can be proud of. They’ve been working with key local authorities across the region, along with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, United Utilities, Environment Agency and the National Farmers Union.

Reducing the impact of pollution

Since its inception in 2012, the partnership has helped reduce the impact of pollution in our sea water from inland, coastal and river sources, protecting bathing water quality and helping to sustain seaside economies.

In 1988, only 18% of the North West’s bathing waters met minimum standards for cleanliness. Now, all 31 bathing water sites in the North West have passed the tough new standards, with 12 being classified as ‘excellent’.

United Utilities has invested more than £600m along the Fylde Coast on schemes to capture and treat wastewater since the early 1990s. This included a huge storage tunnel system at Preston to improve the Ribble Estuary. £200m worth of infrastructure improvements have been carried out at north Blackpool alone, including the storm water storage tank and new outfall pipe at Anchorsholme Park.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.

Love the Fylde Coast? Sign up for your weekly email newsletter. Packed full of interesting things, it arrives in your inbox all 52 weeks of the year.

Join us on Facebook at our Visit Fylde Coast Facebook Group

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @visitFyldeCoast

What do you think? Leave a comment below

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *