New partnership puts end to water rivalry

The Sons of Neptune hold a 'board meeting' on the North Bay sands to celebrate handing over their report about the achievement of excellence rating for Scarborough bathing waters, commissioned by Yorkshire Water. Pictured, Freddie Drabble, left, of the Sons handing over their report to Yorkshire Water's Lee Pitcher and Lindsay Page, treatment manager, and bathing water implimentation manager. Photo by Andrew Higgins 124903a 01/12/12
The Sons of Neptune hold a 'board meeting' on the North Bay sands to celebrate handing over their report about the achievement of excellence rating for Scarborough bathing waters, commissioned by Yorkshire Water. Pictured, Freddie Drabble, left, of the Sons handing over their report to Yorkshire Water's Lee Pitcher and Lindsay Page, treatment manager, and bathing water implimentation manager. Photo by Andrew Higgins 124903a 01/12/12

A truce has been achieved between a group of Scarborough environmentalists and the region’s water board as the pair team up boost beach quality.

For years marine conservationists Sons of Neptune have been battling with Yorkshire Water over their treatment of sewage and its affects on the ocean.

However when the water provider announced plans to invest millions of pounds in a bid to help achieve new EU standards for bathing quality, it invited the Son on Neptune on board to help make Scarborough’s beaches among the best in Europe.

While work has been underway on a new storage tank at the Toll House in Marine Drive, and new outflow pipes in the North Bay, the Sons of Neptune group has been working on a confidential report investigating how the new EU directives can be met.

Earlier this week the group presented their findings to Yorkshire Water during a ‘board meeting on the beach’.

Sons of Neptune leader Freddie Drabble said; “While discussions and, years ago, many verbal blows have been exchanged, today marks a unique milestone on the road to achievement.

“The report looks at and links all the information available to assess the best way forward. Together Yorkshire Water and Sons of Neptune will leave no shell unturned.”

The report was drawn up by Dr Bruce Denness, former professor of ocean engineering at Newcastle University, who has been a retained consultant for the Son of Neptune for more than 30 years.

He said: “The 2012 report is the latest in a series completed for the Sons and Yorkshire Water over the last decade and is aimed at assuring bathing waters in both of Scarborough’s bays will meet exacting EU guideline standards by 2015.

“Many of its recommendations coincide with works already put in place by Yorkshire Water recently.”

After receiving the report Yorkshire Water manager of treatment Lee Pitcher said: “Their report will enrich the intelligence we’ve already collected and help us make sure that bathing water quality in Scarborough reaches the highest level in the future.”

The truce marks a coup for the Sons of Neptune which was the first environmental group in the UK to effectively press for bathing waters to meet European directive standards.