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Beach Quality Fears

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2:02pm 25th September 2012
(Updated 2:02pm 25th September 2012)

Pirate FM has learnt some Cornish beaches that would normally pass clean water tests could fail.

The Environment Agency is worried the south-west is seeing the biggest drop in quality for more than a decade.

So far the organisation says beaches at East Looe, Seaton, Bude Summerleaze, Marazion and Wherrytown in Penzance are not meeting standards.

Water bosses are blaming record summer rainfalls.

Andy Cummins from Surfers Against Sewage wants action from water bosses: "It can be salmonella, meningitis, e-coli, hepatitis A, there's a long list of really nasty illnesses associated with raw sewage.

"They're telling Surfers Against Sewage when there is a spill and we're informing the public. But this should happen once, maybe twice a summer. It is happening far too frequently. At some beaches it's almost every other week."

South-West Water has issued this statement:

"We are committed to working in communities to ensure our beaches pass the 2015 bathing water standards.

"This summer was the wettest on record for 100 years and bad weather can adversely affect bathing water quality when heavy rain impacts on urban drainage and agricultural run-off. Heavy storms can also trigger the operation of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the sewerage system.

In preparation for the revised bathing water directive we have already invested £1.7 million in partnership with the Environment Agency to investigate the different factors that can impact on bathing water quality.

Our customers can help reduce blockages in the sewer network during heavy storms by correctly disposing fat, oil and grease, which are a significant factor in causing pollution problems."

Check the latest samples from your local beach.

2:02pm 25th September 2012

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