Published Wednesday 15th August 12 in Council - news and information releases news
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is extremely disappointed to have lost two more of its Blue Flags as a result of this summer’s heavy rainfall.
Earlier this year the Council was awarded five Quality Coast awards and had five of its beaches included in the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Beach Guide.
But it has now learned that East Beach and Three Shells Beach have lost their Blue Flag status from the Federation for Environmental Education.
The Blue Flag awards are managed in the UK by Keep Britain Tidy who advised us of the loss this week.
Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Derek Jarvis, said: “We are in the lap of the gods when it comes to the bathing water quality monitoring regime.
“Twenty samples are sent for testing every season between May and the end of September and if your beach gets visited the day after heavy rainfall then the water quality will be adversely affected by surface water run-off.
“We know that in such cases the readings very quickly return to normal, and that if they had been taken on another day the results would have been different.
“It’s a complete lottery and it’s very frustrating to go from having five Blue Flag beaches a couple of years ago to just one now.
“We lost our flags for Chalkwell and Jubilee beaches last year for the same reason – the vagaries of the weather – so this comes as a bitter blow.
“It should be stressed, however, that despite losing Blue Flag status Keep Britain Tidy acknowledge that it is still safe to swim off East Beach and Three Shells.
“We are liaising with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water to see what measures can be introduced to stop heavy rain affecting our water quality readings in future.
“We are constantly working to maintain and improve the standards of our beaches for the benefit of our residents and visitors.”