South West has highest number of beaches in the Good Beach Guide
A record number of UK beaches are recommended by The Good Beach Guide 2003 launched today by the Marine Conservation Society and the South West Water region again has the highest number.
This year the region boasts 108 recommended beaches, 16 more than last year, itself a previous record. Improved bathing water quality results help make this possible after South West Water has invested millions of pounds to improve sewage treatment standards.
One hundred and forty bathing waters are monitored in Devon and Cornwall every autumn by the Environment Agency and over 98% of these meet the required standard and over 84% also meet the more stringent guideline standard.
Projects completed since last autumn which are yet to be monitored will also help to boost bathing water quality this summer.
The £27 million Taw-Torridge 'Clean Sweep' project was completed in December to provide the southern area of the Taw-Torridge estuary in North Devon with a modern sewage treatment system. It is one of the largest projects in the £1 billion 'Clean Sweep' programme. The areas to benefit from the new works include the three miles of golden sands at Westward Ho!, the sandy beach at Instow and the fishing village of Appledore along with Bickington and Northam.
Ultra violet disinfection is currently being installed at Luxulyan sewage treatment works to increase the standard of treatment. This will help to improve the bathing water standards at Par in Cornwall.
At Plymouth central sewage treatment works £3.5 million has been invested to build a storm water storage tank, operational since March, this will reduce the frequency of waste water overflows into the Cattewater, East of Plymouth Hoe.
"It is great to see the achievements of the £1 billion 'Clean Sweep' programme required to clean up coastal waters having a positive impact on the regions beaches," said Bob Baty, South West Water's Chief Executive. "Continued improvements will help encourage tourists to visit the best bathing waters in the country and benefit the local economy".
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For further information please contact Dina Chandler, Communications Officer on 01392 443021.
02 May 2003