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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Popular Cumbrian beach fails water quality test

A popular Cumbrian beach is one of three in the county that failed to meet minimum water quality standards.

Allonby beach photo
Allonby beach

Allonby South, along with two beaches in south Cumbria, has fallen short after recent testing revealed elevated levels of contaminants.

A total of six popular swimming spots in the north west appear on the latest list, including West Shore and Biggar Bank at Walney. The Environment Agency (EA), which monitors water quality along with government department Defra, has blamed the heavy rain over summer for washing pollutants from farms, roads and drains into water systems and contaminating the beaches.

However, the news was better for some other Cumbrian beaches, where standards were much higher.

Environment Agency bathing waters manager Dan Bond said he was disappointed in the results, given the progress made to improve water quality over the last 20 years.

“Heavy rainfall washes animal wastes from fields and causes storm sewage overflows to operate,” he said. “This contributed to six of the north west’s designated bathing waters failing to meet the mandatory standards under the current bathing waters directive.”

The Health Protection Agency advises that anyone using the UK’s beaches refrain from swallowing the water and after swimming wash hands with soap and water before eating.

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