Washout summer hits beach water quality

A wet summer has washed away two Norfolk resorts' hopes of flying a coveted Blue Flag award.Pollution flowing into the sea from drenched towns and swollen waterways meant Sheringham and Gorleston both failed bathing-water quality tests - along with another 10 places around England, where there are normally 80 Blue Flags flying.

A wet summer has washed away two Norfolk resorts' hopes of flying a coveted Blue Flag award.

Pollution flowing into the sea from drenched towns and swollen waterways meant Sheringham and Gorleston both failed bathing-water quality tests - along with another 10 places around England, where there are normally 80 Blue Flags flying.

Yet other holiday hotspots, such as Yarmouth Pier and Heacham, which have poorer records, showed improved results.

It was down to the “luck of the draw” said Environment Agency senior environmental officer John Daniels.

Officials do 20 tests each summer season, with the weekly water samples being sent to laboratories to check for bacteria. Early summer downpours saw some locations polluted with run-off from promenades, streets and storm drains.

Sheringham's failure was probably because its sample point was at the end of a storm drain, but Mr Daniels could not pinpoint any specific reason for Gorleston's slump. It was likely, however, to be a one-off blip.

Most Read

In North Norfolk, where Cromer, Mundesley and Sea Palling all passed and hope to retain their flags, tourism cabinet member Hilary Nelson said: “It is very disappointing for Sheringham, but it will not stop us promoting the resort as a clean and safe place for a seaside holiday.”

Yarmouth tourism officer Alan Carr admitted the results were “baffling” but that they too would be promoting all beaches as heavily as ever.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter