Defra launch review of designated bathing beaches list
Defra is starting its annual review of the list of designated bathing waters in England. The review is in line with the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive and will run until the end of September 2011.
From 2012 there will be a new responsibility on bathing water controllers to provide water quality information to the public.
So who's a controller? Defra refers to the Bathing Water Regulations 2008 which defines a 'controller' as whoever has: "...control of the land immediately adjacent to the bathing which is normally used to access the bathing water from the landward side and, where the bathing water is tidal, control of such land above the high water mark." This applies to the owner or leaseholder of such land and in some cases responsibility may be shared between several controllers.
Defra are asking the public to to let them know if beaches that attract large numbers of bathers are not on the list so they can be considered for designation, and to alert them to any bathing waters that are currently on the list that are no longer used by swimmers and pleasure dippers.
MCS Coastal Pollution Officer, Rachel Wyatt, says: "Ensuring beaches which are regularly used by water users are designated is crucial – it means that the quality of the bathing water will be monitored to ensure that it meets minimum standards designed to protect public health and that investments can be made if needed to improve the quality of the water.”
Applications can be made by 30th September 2011 for inclusion in the process to consider changes for the 2012 bathing season. You can check out the existing list here: