As we head into summer, chances are you are looking forward to sharing quality time with your kids on one of your favourite beaches. There is also a chance you will be visiting several beauty spots including inland castles and even lakes and ponds as you maximise on the fun days in the sun. While our summers are unforgettable, our beaches are definitely not what they were decades ago if water quality is anything to go by. Before you take your family for some traditional seaside fun, there are a number of things you need to know.
Water quality standards are falling
A number of beaches in England could fail the water quality standards set by the European Union according to the Environment Agency. In 2014, over 99 percent of beaches within England passed the tests easily but the forecast is that about 93 percent will pass the same water quality test in 2015. Essentially, the ones at risk include Blackpool, IIfracombe and Margate including Fleetwood, Lyme Regis and Lancing. This was highlighted on the BBC website.
Every week up to September officials from the Environment Agency will visit lakes and seas to sample the water in over 400 areas across Britain. The analysis of the samples will be done within 24 hours at an Exeter laboratory. After the analysis, sites must display signs across all the bathing spots displaying whether the water quality has passed the test and whether swimming is hazardous or not.
The measurements for water quality and ratings are founded on levels of specific bacteria such as intestinal enterococci and E.coli for every 100 millilitres of water. The new EU regulations indicate that attaining an “excellent” rating requires the bacteria concentration level to be around half of the previous allowed level.
The higher standards of water quality at the beach are meant to protect everyone who decides to take the plunge, considering quality bathing water is critical for economic growth, people’s health and local tourism.
What you need to do
Clearly, you are concerned about the safety of your children, partner and yourself. While most beaches are safe and the water quality is high, it does not hurt to know whether your local beach or your favourite beach on the other corner of the country is safe and has passed all regulations. Keep Britain Tidy is highly involved in keeping the environment tidy which also encompasses clean beaches safe for everyone to use.
The charity, through its Seaside Award, formerly the Quality Coast Award, has been celebrating the diversity and quality of the coastline around England. Seaside Award is a unique scheme, a nationwide standard not only for safe beaches, but best beaches around the United Kingdom. Beaches awarded the Seaside Award might be different but the flag given to them symbolises quality to assure every visitor to the beach of a clean, attractive, well managed and safe coastal stretch.
Before you head out to any beach take a few minutes and check on the best beaches worth your presence, including any other information of interest to you as we head into summer at Keep Britain Tidy’s website.
Safe drinking water is also very important and you do not have to just take any water. Look out for the Halsey Taylor 4420-BFDB-Endura II Tubular Outdoor Bottle Filling Station by your favourite beach. Lots of councils across England are placing them in busy outdoor areas, parks and beaches to ensure people are hydrated as required with safe, clean and handy drinking water. With both a bottle filling station and bubble tap, every person is guaranteed convenience while outdoors whether they have a bottle or not. Those who are physically or visually impaired are also covered by the outdoor bottle filling station considering it meets the requirements of the Disabilities Act.