Galloway fails to meet beach standard

Mossyard Beach - popular with locals but not with the MCS
Mossyard Beach - popular with locals but not with the MCS

NO beaches in Dumfries and Galloway have been recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for their 2012 Good Beach Guide.

And overall, the number of beaches in Scotland recommended for their excellent bathing water quality has dropped in the last year, putting Scotland behind the rest of the UK

While the rest of the UK has had one of the best years on record for bathing water quality, at Scottish beaches standards have declined. Just 45 out of 110 beaches tested last summer are recommended.

Calum Duncan, MCS Scotland Programme Manager, says that water quality at Scotland’s beaches was almost certainly impacted by heavy summer rains and above average rainfall in many areas.

He said: “Intense rainfall increases surface water run-off, which contains livestock waste and dog faeces from farm land and city streets – and can cause untreated sewage to discharge from combined sewer overflows (CSO’s), both of which can have public health implications for Scotland’s coastal waters.

Overall the number of UK beaches recommended for excellent bathing water quality is the highest in the Guide’s 25 year history.

MCS Coastal Pollution Officer, Rachel Wyatt, said: “We still need to see more investment from water companies to ensure increased monitoring of Combined Sewage Oveflows. After heavy rain, CSOs divert untreated sewage away from overloaded sewers and treatment works and discharge it directly in to rivers and coastal waters. Last year we discovered that there are around 31,000 of these overflows in operation in the UK, but less than a quarter of them are monitored to see how often they are allowing raw sewage to enter the sea. It’s vital that improvements are made, so that we can fully understand what impact these pipes have on our bathing waters.”