Bathing Water Quality
The beaches at Burnham on Sea, Berrow and Brean are monitored for Bathing Water Quality by the Environment Agency between May and September. This allows the Environment Agency to classify each beach in accordance with EU Bathing Water directives. More details on the sampling and beach classifications can be found below.
Bathing water classifications
Bathing waters at designated beaches are sampled and tested by the Environment Agency as part of the requirements under the new EU Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) which came into force in 2006. This directive includes a new sampling and testing regime which is twice as strict as the previous directive. It also requires the Environment Agency to publish profiles for all bathing waters in England and Wales. These profiles describe the bathing water, sources of pollution and management measures and the location of the sampling point. Each designated beach in Europe will receive a bathing water classification.
The detailed Environment Agency bathing water profiles for Burnham, Berrow and Brean can be found on the Environment Agency website: Bathing Water Profiles for Sedgemoor. Signs are also in place at beach entrances which indicate the bathing water classifications as either 'Excellent', 'Good' or 'Poor'.
The current bathing water classifications for each beach are detailed in the table below:
Current EU Bathing Water Classification
Burnham on sea
Advice against bathing is in place at Burnham Jetty.
Burnham Jetty is no longer designated as a bathing water under the Bathing Water Regulations.
The beach sits at the mouth of two large rivers, the Brue and Parrett which greatly influence the bathing water quality.
Despite extensive investigations and investment bathing water quality cannot be guaranteed to achieve the "Sufficient" standard required under the Bathing Water Regulations.
For more information on the work Sedgemoor District Council and partners are completing in relation to bathing water please visit Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset, or call 02920 874 713, or follow @LFSCSomerset on Twitter, or litterfreesomerset on Facebook.
What you can do to help improve bathing water quality
- Bag and bin dog poo
- Remember the three p's: only pee, poo and paper should be flushed down the toilet - everything else should go in a bin.
- Don't put fats, oils and grease down the sink - it can cause blockages. Let fats cool, then scrape or pour into your food waste bin for recycling or into a non-recyclable container and put in your household waste wheelie bin.
- Take all picnic food and litter home with you or dispose in bins.
- Follow the steps on the Connect Right website to make sure your home plumbing is connected correctly and learn what to do if you find a problem.
- Chemical toilets such as those used in touring caravans and on camp sites must only be emptied in a specifically designated place to avoid the contents being deposited straight into the sewerage system. Caravan and camp sites usually have their own Chemical Disposal Point. If there is no official emptying point then the contents should be flushed down a normal toilet, which may mean taking it back home. Chemical toilet waste should never be deposited directly into a watercourse.
- Farms can also be a major source of river and sea pollution. The use of fertilisers on the land and pollution from animal waste can result in run-off from fields and into watercourses. The Environment Agency is working closely with farmers to identify where these incidents could affect water quality.