Flooding affects sea water quality
12:44pm Monday 1st April 2013 in News
A north Pembrokeshire beach has failed to reach minimum bathing water standards.
A report released by the Marine Conservation Society last week shows Pwllgwaelod, Dinas, failed to reach the minimum European bathing water quality standard.
Nearby Cwm yr Eglwys achieved MCS ‘Recommended’ status, the standard for excellent water quality, while Newport and Poppit beaches gained ‘Guideline’ status, where mandatory bathing water standards of minimum water quality were met.
Further up the local coastline, Mwnt, Tresaith, Penbryn, Llangrannog, Cilborth and New Quay harbour all achieved Recommended status, Aberporth was recorded as Guideline – for higher water quality, and Cwm Tydu and New Quay North’s samples were of Mandatory standards.
The annual ‘Good Beach Guide’, published by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), has recommended fewer beaches across the UK generally following last year’s exceptionally wet summer.
MCS has recommended only 98 of the 153 Welsh bathing beaches tested in 2012 as having excellent water quality, 23 fewer beaches than the previous year.
Pwllgwaelod is one of five welsh beaches, which failed to meet even a minimum European standard, or equivalent.
A MCS spokesman said: “Relentless rain and flooding in many parts of the country led to an increase in the amount of bacteria and viruses ending up in bathing waters.
“”This type of pollution can originate from a variety of sources such as agricultural and urban run-off, storm waters, misconnected plumbing, septic tanks and dog faeces.
“Sewage and animal waste is full of viruses and bacteria and most water users won’t be aware that this type of pollution can increase the chance of them going home with an ear, nose or throat infection, or even gastroenteritis.”
MCS Pollution Programme Manager, Dr Robert Keirle, says the latest results show that monitoring of combined sewer overflows and action to reduce pollution from farms and populated areas is urgently needed:
He said: “The good news for Wales is that after MCS lobbied Dwr Cymru, as part of our membership of its Independent Environmental Advisory Panel, the first ever Welsh Bathing Waters Conference will be held later this year.”