Seaton beach rated "excellent" for water quality

PUBLISHED: 15:02 17 November 2017

Seaton seafront. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Seaton seafront. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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All six East Devon District council-owned beaches achieve the highest clasification for the first time

Seaton beach has plenty to shout about.  Town Crier David Craner. Picture: TERRY IFESeaton beach has plenty to shout about. Town Crier David Craner. Picture: TERRY IFE

The bathing waters of all six East Devon District Council-owned beaches – including Seaton and Beer - have been classed as ‘Excellent’ for the first time.

Last week’s announcement follows stringent water testing by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The ‘Excellent’ classification – which is the highest and cleanest classification, means that the water quality over the last four years has been the best it can be.

The news was welcomed by Councillor Tom Wright, EDDC’s environment spokesman.

He said: “This is a fantastic result and the reward for several years of good joint working with our partners and local landowners.

“Our beaches are a crown jewel for East Devon and we are proud that the bathing water meets the very highest standards which will provide water users with opportunities for enjoying our sea safely.”

The water quality is tested by the Environment Agency every week throughout the summer and the results are considered alongside those from the previous three years.

The district council’s environmental health team is advised of the results, and is responsible for informing members of the public about water quality.

This information includes a system of real time predictions of poor quality and the council recently installed an electronic sign at each of its beaches so that people using the water can see whether on any particular day it is likely to meet the required standards.

Poor water quality has been shown to occur only after heavy rainfall around the coasts, and most likely on beaches fed by rivers and streams – like The Axe.

The Environment Agency works to reduce the sources of this pollution through pollution prevention measures, work with agriculture and water companies.

The Environment Agency investigations have shown that the bathing water quality at Seaton beach can be affected by the River Axe at some states of the tide.

Nine warnings advising against swimming due to an increase risk of short term pollution were issued in 2016 for Seaton bathing water. These warnings were issued because of the effects of heavy rain.

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