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Weymouth bathers urged to click before they dip

Weymouth bathers urged to click before they dip

Castle Cove in Weymouth

Castle Cove in Weymouth

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

BATHERS in Weymouth are being encouraged to click before they take a dip.

A re-launched website will provide them with real-time information about water quality at popular bathing spots like Castle Cove and Weymouth Beach.

The Wessex Water bathing water quality website covers 348 miles of coastline in Dorset, Somerset and North Somerset.

It has been launched for the second year running and has been revamped to be more interactive.

Last year was the best year for water quality in the Wessex Water region, with 89 per cent of beaches achieving a ‘tighter’ Bathing Water Directive standard and 100 per cent passing the mandatory standard.

Ruth Barden, head of environment and conservation at Wessex Water, said: “Our region has among the cleanest beaches in Europe and improving sewage treatment processes and upgrading infrastructure has ensured that water quality continues to meet the expectations of people, environmentalists and holiday makers.”

The website was used by more than 4,000 people last year and is expected to be popular again this year.

The online water quality service, which was the first of its kind in the industry, provides information for designated bathing waters in its region, alongside individual bathing water classifications from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The water company said that during intense rainfall, emergency and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are operated, which prevent heavily diluted foul water from flooding highways, properties and open spaces.

It said that as well as storm implications, a range of other factors can affect the cleanliness of beaches and bathing waters.

Mrs Barden added: “We feel it is very important to ensure that should a CSO have been operated, people can see for themselves whether it had a potential implication of water quality.”

“Online visitors can specify which information they want to see displayed such as when and how often a CSO has been operated to how much investment has been made in the area.”

Wessex is also using telemetry equipment that notifies when an emergency overflow has operated.

Information is used to indicate whether water quality has been affected over 24 hour and seven day periods.

The website can be visited at we ssexwater.co.uk/bathingwaters

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