Tests find ‘poor’ water quality

New EU health rules will see some beaches in Galloway havinge to display signs warning against swimming from June 1 due to the water quality.

Testing carried out by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency as part of an EU Bathing Water Directive labelled Mossyard, Dhoon Bay and Rockcliffe as having ‘poor’ water quality, potentially affecting tourism.

Calum McPhail, SEPA Environmental Quality manager said: “Due to the much tighter water quality standards in the new European classification system, which uses four years of monitoring data to provide a more consistent picture of water quality, Dhoon Bay and Mossyard have both been rated as having a ‘poor’ EU water quality classification.

“A significant contributor to Mossyard’s ‘poor’ classification is a single exceptionally high result in 2012 which is part of the rolling four year dataset used to calculate the 2016 classification. This result will not be included in the 2017 classification, which will use data from 2013 to 2016 and the bathing water is expected to progress to a ‘sufficient’ classification at that time.

“SEPA uses a priority catchment approach to reducing sources of rural diffuse pollution from land use activities in specific areas across Scotland.

“Dhoon Bay bathing water sits within the Stewarty Coastal priority catchment area. Improvement work within this catchment started in 2010 and is currently ongoing.

“We would like to remind the public that these are still fantastic beaches to visit and that a ‘poor’ classification does not necessarily mean that water quality is continually poor.”