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Bathing beach has missed the standard

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

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SOME bathing waters in west Cornwall have failed to meet quality standards.

The Environment Agency announced that the area of Mount's Bay near the heliport was one of a number of sites across the country to fall below the benchmark.

Environmental campaigners have described the situation as disastrous and warned tourists will shun resorts if urgent action is not taken.

South West Water blamed the failure on exceptionally heavy summer rainfall triggering overflow systems, but Andy Cummins of campaign group Surfers Against Sewage said it simply wasn't good enough.

"We have beautiful bathing water and beaches and we need our water companies to protect our assets," he said.

"What's important to tourists and to local people who love the beaches is how clean the water is."

In 2015, tougher European standards for water quality will be brought in. Figures from this year will go towards the first raft of assessments and Mr Cummins said the effects were easy to predict.

"It could mean big red and white warning signs will have to be prominently displayed which say the advice is not to swim here because it's failed water quality standards.

"That could be disastrous to tourism," he said. "You could see people coming down on holiday and then seeing that sign and turning around and never coming back."

An Environment Agency spokesman said full results for the summer would be published in November.

A South West Water spokesman said: "This summer was the wettest for 100 years and bad weather can adversely affect bathing water quality.

"In preparation for the revised bathing water directive we've already invested £1.7 million, in partnership with the Environment Agency, to investigate the factors that can impact on water quality."

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