#469 new

Is it safe to swim at south of Scotland's beaches?

Reported by lily | June 30th, 2021 @ 01:51 AM

Is it safe to swim at south of Scotland's beaches?

With the summer holidays in ทางเข้า slotxo full swing, it's time to head to the coast and have fun by the sea - but is the water clean?

Along the Scottish coastline there are 85 official bathing waters and almost all of them meet strict environmental standards on pollution levels.

However, four breached European safety limits this year - and three of them are in Dumfries and Galloway.

So why are three of the most polluted bathing waters in Scotland within a few miles of each other?

Which bathing waters are the most polluted?

Every year the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) rates the quality of Scotland's 85 designated bathing waters either "excellent", "good", "sufficient" or "poor".

The grading is based on regular water quality tests carried out over the previous four years.

Coastal waters at beaches like Achmelvich in the Highlands and Elie in Fife were among 29 rated "excellent" this year, while 30 were "good" and 22 "sufficient".

At the bottom of the league table were three beaches on the Solway coast - Brighouse Bay, Dhoon Bay and Rockcliffe.

Picturesque destinations, they are popular with locals, holiday-makers and day-trippers, but the quality of the bathing water is officially classed as "poor".

What is polluting the water?

In a word, poo.

It can be washed into the sea by heavy rainfall from nearby agricultural land.

Dumfries and Galloway's geography puts it at a disadvantage in this respect - not only is average rainfall higher on the west coast, farming is one of its dominant industries.

Gulls - attracted by litter left on beaches - and dog mess can also contribute to the pollution.

But it's not just animal faeces which have been detected in water quality tests - DNA testing of pollution found at Brighouse, the Dhoon and Rockcliffe show that some of it comes from humans.

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