Identifying Bacterial Pollution from Source to Sea in the NW

The Environment Agency has begun a project to discover sources of bacterial pollution affecting sea water quality in the North West. The NW has 31 bathing beaches, all of which are subject to more stringent standards under the revised European Bathing Water Directive, which the EA will begin monitoring for in 2012. Although there have been huge improvements in sewage treatment at the coast, the quality of the water can be affected by bacterial input as far as 10km upstream. This project, which will run until January 2012, involves Environment Agency contractors walking 1100km along the region’s rivers and streams, looking for anything, including drains, septic tanks and sewer overflows, that might affect water quality.

More specific information can be found on the project website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/nwwalkovers

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