£110 million boost for sea water

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UP to £110million is to be invested in Scarborough in a bid to improve the town’s bathing water.

The figure is being put forward by Yorkshire Water as it looks to install giant storage tanks along the coastline to prevent drainage overflow into the sea.

The move is in anticipation of a new European Water Quality Directive, which is set to come in to effect in 2015.

Under the new system beaches will be graded as either excellent, good, sufficient or poor.

Following a national consultation the UK target has been set to meet the ‘sufficient’ classification by 2015.

However Scarborough Council is aiming to hit the ‘excellent’ class for its North and South Bay beaches.

The authority has predicted North Bay, Cayton Bay, Whitby, and Reighton is already in line for excellent classification, with Filey and Sandsend expected to achieve ‘good’, and South Bay and Runswick Bay likely to be ‘sufficient’.

In order to meet, and in some cases exceed, the predictions, the council together with Yorkshire Water has recognised a need to minimise the risk of pollutants entering the water.

As a result Yorkshire Water submitted a bid, which was approved last year, to invest up to £110 million in Scarborough over the next five years to help meet the new Bathing Water Directive.

In addition Scarborough Council is set to spend £10,000, along with a £15,000 Defra grant, on the scheme.

Jim Dillon, chief executive of Scarborough Council, said: “The level of investment and commitment planned is highly significant.

“What is very clear is that all partner organisations appreciate the importance of the work entailed.

“To see the great endeavours of the past and its excellent rewards denunded in the light of new legislation would not be acceptable and could seriously compromise the Borough’s vision to be the very best.”

Yorkshire Water says it plans to spend the money on replacing the current draining system, which currently is affected by weather conditions causing overflow to be discharged in to the sea through outfall pipes.

The new system will see the installation of large storage tanks, measuring 70,000 cubic metres, the equivalent of five Olympic swimming pools, at the current discharge points, and a new tunnel solution.

However, Yorkshire Water says all plans are currently “at concept stage and for tender purposes only”.