Latest tests show Brighton and Hove sea water becoming cleaner

Posted On 27 May 2011 at 3:51 am

The sea water off Brighton and Hove is back to the cleanest levels necessary to regain blue flags for the city’s beaches.

Councillors and officials hope that the news will reassure tourists as an influx is expected for the bank holiday weekend.

Brighton and Hove lost its two blue flags this year because tests carried out last summer fell below the highest standard.

This was largely due to heavy rain washing dirt into the sea, according to Brighton and Hove City Council.

Recent tests by the Environment Agency, though, show that the water quality is excellent again.

Tests place seawater quality into one of three categories

  • guideline is the highest grade
  • mandatory is the minimum European standard
  • fail is below the minimum acceptable standard

The categories reflect the quantity of sewage in the water.

Three beaches – Hove Lawns, Brighton Central and Kemp Town – have all scored guideline results for the first three tests of the season, on Monday 2 May and the two subsequent Mondays.

Saltdean scored a fail on Monday 9 May but had guideline quality water once again on Monday 16 May.

Councillor Pete West, the council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “If we keep this up all season we’ll get our blue flags back.

“We need to keep a careful watch on sea water quality and get water companies to stop pumping sewage into the sea.

“But I’m pleased that after results dipped last year testing is currently showing clean water.

“The council will be applying pressure where needed to ensure that is the case all the time.”

Heavy rain could once again reduce sea water quality, according to the council.

The forecast for the bank holiday weekend, however, is for temperatures to rise as the weekend progresses to 63F or 17C. The wind – blustery at times on Saturday – should be much calmer by Monday. Forecasters are predicting that it will stay dry.

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