Bathing water updates via mobile

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Daily bathing water forecasts are now available for beaches at Girvan, Maidens and Culzean from 10am each morning for the next three-and-a-half months.

They are among 31 of Scotland’s 86 designated bathing waters where live electronic signs mean that beach users have access to real time quality information.

The daily bathing water quality information will also be available through: www.bathingwaters.mobi - SEPA’s mobile website; http://apps.sepa.org.uk/bathingwaters/Predictions.aspx - SEPA’s website; and 08452 30 30 98 – SEPA’s Beachline.

Sea water samples taken by SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) scientists is combined with state-of-the-art weather data to provide the daily bathing water forecasts throughout the summer months. Girvan beach is currently rated as poor, Culzean as sufficient and Maidens as good.

Explaining the problems faced at Girvan a SEPA report said that: “The Girvan bathing water catchment is part of the South Ayrshire priority catchment. Proposed awareness raising and one-to-one engagement with rural land managers started in 2016 and is due to be completed by 2021.”

Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said: “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s stunning environment and we are committed to ensuring all of Scotland’s designated bathing waters meet water quality standards.

“Having achieved the highest rate of compliance since the new Bathing Water Directive began we are already seeing many of our priority projects having a positive impact.

“Working with partners, we’re continuing our focus on bathing waters rated as ‘poor’, with tailored improvement plans prepared by SEPA.

“These projects will result in major improvements to bathing water quality in the future and should see improvements over the coming season.

A Scottish Water spokeswoman said: “Scottish Water has undertaken significant investment in partnership with SEPA in recent years to support bathing water quality.

“We are committed to delivering investment where our assets are found to be compromising quality.

“We continue to work with SEPA and a range of agencies, local authorities, beach users and other relevant organisations to improve bathing water quality where required.

“People can help by ensuring that they only flush the right things down toilets – pee, poo and paper – to avoid causing blockages to drains and sewers which can cause pollution on beaches.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham added: “Protecting and improving our bathing waters is crucial for our environment, for local economies which rely on beach tourism and for people who will be able to enjoy our seaside resorts and beaches over the summer months.

“Partnership working between SEPA, Scottish Water, local authorities, the farming sector, and communities is vital to achieving better results and this work helps drive forward improvements.”