Is Blackpool’s Bathing Water Safe Or is the Answer in the Sand?

Gumley, G (2007) Is Blackpool’s Bathing Water Safe Or is the Answer in the Sand? [Dissertation]

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It is important that beaches are clean enough to be enjoyed by the public
without concern over health risk. Bathing waters along the Fylde coast are
currently monitored throughout the bathing season by the Environment Agency.
The location on the beach of sampling is unspecified, this study involved
sampling at three positions (high tide, low tide and a sand/sediment sample) at
six beach locations along the Fylde coast. These results were compared and a
statistical difference was observed between locations. A higher probable
number of coliform bacteria were observed at high tide. Sand monitoring is not
compulsory, yet the most likely contamination of sand occurs at the swash zone
where the water meets the shore. This is the favourable play area for children,
which could prove a health risk if the sand or water was contaminated.
All marine sites were below the EU directive standards, yet all had coliform
bacteria present. Over the past decade, bathing water quality in the Fylde
region has improved dramatically. This is said to be a result of improvements
in waste water treatment and storm overflows. The position of sampling on the
beach could be a factor of the coliforms record.

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