Water testing under way for area’s beaches


The annual testing of bathing water is currently under way to make sure it meets strict quality standards.

The Environment Agency has begun its annual testing regime and over the next five months water samples will be taken from , Skegness, Huttoft, Anderby, Chapel St Leonards, Ingoldmells, Mablethorpe, Cleethorpes, Sutton-on-Sea and Humberston.

Adrian Lack, sampling and collection team leader, said: “Our water sampling is vital to make sure visitors to Lincolnshire’s beaches know that they are suitable for swimming. We test for bacteria that are usually associated with upset stomachs and which can come from waste water or from poorly-treated sewage or animal faeces.”

Each year, the Environment Agency takes 20 samples from every EU-designated bathing water site in England between May 5 and September 30. Testing in Lincolnshire started on Friday.

As well as water samples, other information about the beach is also recorded including the presence of sewage-derived litter and foaming and information about how the beach is used.

The results of the testing help to determine whether a beach meets the requirements of the international Blue Flag award scheme.

Skegness currently holds Blue Flag status.

To gain a Blue Flag, however, beaches must meet a set of other criteria in addition to water quality. It is up to the managers of the beach to decide whether or not to meet the additional requirements.

Adrian said: “Farmers, businesses, local authorities and water companies all have a role to play in continuing to improve water quality. As well as our annual testing regime, the Environment Agency is also working with them to tackle pollution from animal waste, roads, homes and businesses which can enter streams, rivers and, ultimately, bathing waters.”