EU Bathing Water Directive Update

DEFRA are starting their annual review of the list of designated bathing waters in England in line with the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive. Bathing waters are coastal beaches or inland waters that are used by a large number of bathers and are monitored by the Environment Agency during the bathing season (15 May - 30 September). They are seeking public assistance in safeguarding public health by ensuring that the list is accurate. The vast majority of listed bathing waters are at the coast but some are lakes and ponds in London, Surrey, the Cotswolds and the Lake District. If you are aware of a site that attracts a large number of bathers but does not appear on the list, please contact DEFRA so that it can be considered for designation as a bathing water. They would also like to know if there are any bathing waters on the current list that are no longer used for bathing.

From 2012 there will be a new responsibility for bathing water controllers to provide water quality information to the public. Controllers are defined in defined in the Bathing Water Regulations 2008 as whoever has "...control of the land immediately adjacent to the bathing which is normally used to access the bathing water from the landward side and, where the bathing water is tidal, control of such land above the high water mark;". This applies to the owner or leaseholder of such land and in some cases responsibility may be shared between several controllers. If you would like to propose a potential new bathing water please indicate whether a local authority or a private controller would be responsible, if you have this information.
Applications should be made by 30 September for inclusion in the process to consider changes for the 2012 bathing season.

Click here for further information. Click here for list of monitored sites in England.