Pollution prevention work around Wiseman’s Bridge has paid off, as its bathing water quality, which was poor just a few years ago, is now “excellent”, the prerequisite water quality required for a Blue Flag award.
Work undertaken by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) with the local community council, local authority, Dwr Cymru, local business and agriculture, to develop sustainable pollution prevention measures, has reduced pollution throughout Pembrokeshire.
83 per cent of beaches in Pembrokeshire now meet the toughest “excellent” standard, with 10 beaches also retaining their Blue Flag status.
The others are all classified as “good”, with Nolton Haven and Sandy Haven having improved from “Sufficient” to “Good”.
The biggest improvement is at Wiseman’s Bridge, which, just a few years ago, was destined to require the local authority to place a notice on the beach advising against swimming.
The improvement is down to a combination of specific pollution prevention measures.
New sewage disposal systems have been installed at several caravan parks.
Dwr Cymru has added ‘Event Duration Monitoring’ on its storm overflow at the terminal pumping station in Kilgetty.
And NRW officers have been giving pollution prevention advice to local farms, including a dairy farm milking over one thousand cows, reducing agricultural pollution incidents that have affected bathing water.
Rod Thomas, Senior Environment Officer for NRW said:
“At the end of the 2018 season, Wales is 100 per cent compliant, with all bathing waters meeting the minimum water quality standards set out in EU legislation.
“We are particularly pleased that for the first time all 29 bathing waters in Pembrokeshire are either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ with 24 of those being ‘Excellent’.
“This has been down to hard work, not just by NRW but also by our partners keen to see improvements which will benefit tourism, the economy and the wellbeing of tourists and residents alike.”
Neil Scott, NRW Microbiology Scientist said:
“All 104 Welsh designated beaches and their associated rivers and streams are analysed at the Natural Resources Wales Analytical Services laboratory and the samples must be filtered within 24 hours being sampled.
“We look for 2 key faecal pollution indicator bacteria – E.coli and Intestinal Enterococci. These could come from various sources, which include sewage treatment failures and run-off from agricultural ground into watercourses.
“Annual ratings classify each site as excellent, good, sufficient or poor based on measurements taken over a four-year period”.