Scottish bathing water shows improvement

Fifty-five out of Scotland’s 60 officially identified bathing waters have passed mandatory European standards, an improvement on last year’s figure of nine failing waters, according to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).


The Scottish bathing waters season for 2002 is now over, and monitoring data has shown that this has been one of the best ever results for bathing water quality, says SEPA. However, the organisation has expressed disappointment that five bathing waters – Peterhead Lido, Cruden Bay, Arbroath, Rocklife and Ettrick Bay, have failed.

There are also over 50 non-official bathing waters. This year, around 53% achieved Europe’s mandatory quality, and 15% the higher guideline level. Of the remainder, around 27% failed, and there was insufficient data for 5%.

The east of Scotland has 27 of the recognised bathing waters, only one of which failed the mandatory standard. “The improvements in bathing water quality in the south and east areas over the last few years have been very impressive,” said Colin Bayes, SEPA South East Area Environmental Regulation and Improvements Manager. He puts the success down to investments made by Scottish Water and its predecessors in the sewers and sewage treatment works. He also acknowledges SEPA’s efforts, and those of the local authorities.

“It is disappointing that the bathing water at Arbroath West Links failed this year, and SEPA is continuing its investigation into the cause of that failure,” added Bays.

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