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Lyme Regis beach fails water quality test
A LYME Regis beach is causing further headaches after results showed it failed strict water quality tests.
Interim results released by the Environment Agency show that Church Cliff beach failed the stricter ‘guideline’ test, but looked on course to pass the mandatory tests next month.
Church Cliff was the only beach in the area with worrying results, with Lyme Regis Front Beach, Burton Bradstock, West Bay West, Eype’s Mouth and Charmouth West gaining perfect scores in all water quality tests.
At Seatown one sample from 14 failed.
But at Church Cliff, in the mandatory tests, none of the 14 samples taken showed any traces of E-coli.
In the stricter guideline tests, five samples taken out of 14 exceeded the minimum levels required of E-coli G, and four samples exceeded the levels of Intestinal Enterococci G.
The beach has only passed the water quality tests three times in the past five years but Jim Florey of the Environment Agency said even though the results were concerning, the beach was still on course to pass the overall tests this year.
Mr Florey said: “This beach is really challenging because of its location at the mouth of the River Lym, and the challenge we have is how to control the quality of the water going into the sea from the river.
“The levels of bacteria in the water that we look for will have originated from the river.
“We have been doing a lot of work with the local council to raise awareness of how the public can help with simple steps like making sure dog walkers clean up after their dogs.”
These indicative results follow a recent inspection undertaken by the Environment Agency at the end of July of the town’s drains in a bid to pinpoint the problems.
Town councillor Mark Gage said he was very concerned by any water quality issue, but he believed the water quality is the best it has been in a long while.
Coun Gage said: “The council is always working and co-operating with both the Environment Agency and South West Water to improve the water quality on this beach.
“We are hoping the water treatment will be moved up the river, which will help, and the improvements that are in the pipeline will be sped up.
“Church Cliff beach is very important to us and Lyme, as it is used a lot and we have worked very hard over the past three years to improve the quality. These results show that the need for continued improvement and control is incredibly important.”
Doug Goodman, pictured, a company director of a travel PR firm, pictured right, said: “Clean beaches are very important to a town like Lyme Regis, and unclean beaches can generate bad publicity which would affect the town quite badly. Church Cliff has been in a bit of a mess for a few years due to the mess the River Lym causes, but there is no question that with continued investment it will get better.”
There will be a final review of the water quality at the end of the bathing season in September, with the final results released in November.