Girvan’s beach has failed to make into the 2012 Good Beach Guide though it has passed the minimum standards of water quality.
But there was good news for the beaches at Croy, Dunure, Culzean and Maidens which have all been included in the Guide in a year in which the Marine Conservation Society have recommended fewer Scottish beaches as meeting the “excellent water quality” standards.
The Society which publishes the Guide says that the blame on the declining standards of bathing water quality on Scottish beaches – the only part of the UKL to suffer such a drop – has been largely due to the wet summer in 2011 which increased surface water run-off affecting the readings.
These can contain livestock waste and and dog faeces from farm land and streets and can also cause untreated sewage to to discharge from sewer overflows causing public health implications for Scotland’s coastal waters. As a result, only 45 out of 110 beaches tested in Scotland during last summer had been recommended for bathers - a 5% drop on last year and against the national trend.
Calum Duncan, MCS Scotland Programme Manager said that while the rest of the UK had one of the best years on record for bathing watwer quality, standards in Scotland had declined. The beach at Girvan has passed the minimum EU standards every year since 2000, except 2007. Up until 2000, it failed every year, so water quality has clearly improved here since improvements were put in by Scottish Water in 1999. But Mr Duncan said “It has never had water quality good enough yet to make it into the MCS Guide, which only recommends beaches that have excellent water quality.”