Investigations are underway to find out why the quality of bathing water at Bridlington’s busiest beach dropped in 2018.
After one of the hottest summers for years brought thousands of visitors to the Yorkshire coast, South Beach’s rating has fallen from two stars – or ‘good’ – to one star, which is ‘sufficient’ and the lowest level at which bathing is recommended.
Worryingly, one of the weekly readings showed levels of bacteria three-and-a-half times higher than at any other time in the last three years.
VOTE: Your favourite beach in the Bridlington area
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are committed to working hard with local partners to improve water quality at Bridlington South beach, which remains open for people to enjoy.”
A reading in June showed 955 colonies of Intestinal Enterococci per 100ml of water, but the four samples taken before and the four afterwards were all less than 50.
The agency said it is investigating the decline in water quality, which includes monitoring the Gypsey Race which flows into the harbour and analysing sediment in the harbour. “We are also looking at how activities in and around the harbour may also be impacting,” said a statement.
Despite South Beach’s troubles, there was better news for the other beaches in the Bridlington area.
Danes Dyke achieved the highest standard for the fourth successive year. Flamborough South Landing, Bridlington North Beach, Fraisthorpe, Wilsthorpe and Skipsea all retained their ‘good’ ranking.
The EA spokesperson said: “Seventeen out of the 19 bathing waters on the Yorkshire coast are classified as good or excellent. Danes Dyke, Tunstall, Cayton Bay, Whitby and Runswick Bay are all classified as excellent.
It is now working with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Water to find out why South beach suffered the blip in June, and it is using a continuous water quality monitor in the Gypsey Race at St John’s Avenue, and as it enters the harbour.
Cllr Richard Burton, portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and culture said: “The announcement that the water quality at nine East Riding bathing beaches is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ is welcome news and demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to working with its partners to improve standards and ultimately achieve the aim of Blue Flag status at all bathing beaches along Yorkshire’s 50-mile coast.
“Unfortunately, Bridlington South has seen its classification changed from ‘good’ to ‘sufficient’. This is obviously extremely disappointing news and the council will now work closely with the Environment Agency to understand the reasons as to why this has happened, which will require a period of sampling and monitoring.
“It is worth noting that water quality at Bridlington South continues to meet minimum standards.”
“The East Riding coast is very much open for business - evidenced by the fantastic summer season, which saw thousands of people visit Bridlington, Hornsea and Withernsea.
“Our first-class facilities and beach management are also continued to be recognised with Seaside Awards for Bridlington, Hornsea and Withernsea which will assure people that they are visiting one of the best beaches in the country.”