Thinking of going for a swim?
Sewage pollution still bedevils Barry Beaches
The bathing water assessments from this year are given as an average over 4 years. The Council announces they allow a Blue Flag for Whitmore Bay and a Seaside Award for Jackson’s Bay, without admitting this is worse quality bathing water.
Cold Knap Barry 75 75 102.81 54.68 70.97 40.83
Whitmore Bay Barry Island 75 75 118.4 74.79 81.51 54.57
Jackson's Bay Barry Island 75 75 396.25 159.56 236.16 105.6
Why did Jackson’s Bay not get a Blue Flag? The Council say – because they did not put in for it. But the real reason is that it failed the Bathing Water standard rather badly: high levels of E Coli (95% of 400 compared with the 250 limit) and of Enterococci (95% of 160 compared with the 100 limit). They now use statistics over the last 4 years, so don’t show the actual levels for 2015. https://naturalresources.
We do know that Jackson’s Bay failed the Blue Flag standard 4 times out of 20 samples in 2014. The reason it’s worse than Whitmore Bay probably arises from the Cog Moors discharge swept back between Sully Island and Barry Island on the incoming tide. There’s may also some illegal discharge via the Cadoxon River . Whitmore Bay still gets some of these discharges, as shown by the higher numbers compared with Cold Knap. Whitmore Bay like Jacksons Bay failed (‘good’) in 2013 but met the Blue Flag (rBWD) ‘excellent’ standard in 2014.
There should be an off-season warning too for Whitmore Bay; from September to March, out of the bathing season, the UV treatment at Cog Moors is switched off. Also the storm-time bypass of the sewage works is operated more frequently. Thus, Whitmore Bay does not meet the sewage standards for autumn and springtime water sports, or for Barry Island’s Boxing Day Swim. This was shown when several dogs caught infections last autumn, after the water sampling had stopped.
The Council does not complain about the sewage works discharging untreated sewage during high rainfall , for any mention of the works being overloaded would cast a shadow over its plans for large increases in housing, without any expansion or upgrade of the Cog Moors treatment works. They claim to be working with Natural Resources Wales to improve the bathing water quality at Jackson’s Bay , but don’t report this publicly.
uk/wales/bathing-waters/data/ bathing-water-profile/ukl2202- 36100/2015:1