18th May 2020 – 16. De-designation of Burnham Jetty Bathing Water, Burnham-on-Sea

I am writing to confirm that the Environment Agency has issued permanent advice against bathing at Burnham Jetty bathing water at Burnham-on-Sea. This advice is issued under Regulation 13(2) (a) of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 (S.I. 2013/1675) (“the Regulations”) because water quality has been classified as Poor for five consecutive bathing seasons at Burnham.
The beaches’ location at the mouth of the Brue and Parrett and the associated catchment areas these rivers drain has meant it has not been possible to achieve the improvements we would have all liked to have seen. This is despite the huge efforts made through the Bathing Water Steering Group. However, the enormous investments in time, resources and infrastructure have resulted in significant improvements in quality over the last 10 years.
We will continue to work with the Steering Group to ensure that the improvements made to date remain. If any future developments occur that could influence the bathing water we will assess these in relation to the possible impact on the beaches’ water quality.
As you have requested we will continue to take the occasional sample during this year’s bathing season to confirm that there is no deterioration in quality. However, this will depend on the current national response to the Covid 19 situation.
As the responsible authority, I would like to remind you that Sedgemoor District Council must ensure that the following information in relation to the former bathing water is actively shared and made available to the public:
a) that permanent advice against bathing has been issued as represented by a symbol in accordance with Part 1 of the Annex to the Decision;
b) the fact that it is no longer a bathing water;
c) the reasons for the declassification.
This information must be displayed at the beach by 15 May 2020 and must remain in place throughout the bathing season until 30 September 2020. A template for a sign will be provided. If you have any queries on the requirements for public information please contact Kate Hedges at Defra. Kate can be contacted via email at kate.hedges@defra.gsi.gov.uk.
Yours sincerely
Jim Flory
Area Environment Manager – Monitoring
Environment Agency, Rivers House, East Quay
Bridgwater, TA6 4YS

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