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27 March 2013, 00:01
A total of 17 beaches in Suffolk and Norfolk have been rated as recommended in the Good Beach Guide 2013.
The years review is carried out by the Marine Conservation Society rates the quality of the water
|BEACH||COUNTY||2013 RATING||2012 RATING|
|Soutwold The Denes||Suffolk||Mandatory||Mandatory|
|Southwold The Pier||Suffolk||Recommended||Mandatory|
|Great Yarmouth South||Norfolk||Recommended||Recommended|
|Great Yarmouth Pier||Norfolk||Recommended||Recommended|
|Great Yarmouth North||Norfolk||Mandatory||Recommended|
|Hunstanton (Old Hunstanton)||Norfolk||Guideline||Recommended|
|Hunstanton Main Beach||Norfolk||Mandatory||Recommended|
Nationally there has been a fall in the number of beaches getting the top rating and that is being blamed on one of the UK’s wettest summers on record.
MCS has recommended only 403 of the 754 UK bathing beaches tested in 2012 as having excellent water quality. That’s just over half, and 113 fewer beaches than were recommended last year.
They are also concerned that 42 beaches (5.6%) failed to meet even a minimum European standard, or equivalent, for bathing water quality – 17 more than in last year’s Guide.
Rain and flooding in many parts of the country led to an increase in the amount of bacteria and viruses ending up in our 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 Coastal Pollution Officer, Rachel Wyatt, says the latest results show that the charity’s call for improved monitoring of combined sewer overflows and action to reduce pollution from farms and populated areas is urgently needed: “We have recommended fewer beaches in every English region and in Wales and Scotland. In England, the north west and south west were hit particularly hard, with the fewest number of recommended beaches for at least a decade. 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.
“There is no simple solution to sewage and animal waste reaching our seas. However if the water industry, communities and local authorities recognise that there is a problem and begin to work together to find answers then that would be a significant start.”