Letter: Focus attention on source of water pollution and the prevention

Immediate attention should be focused on pollution sources.
Immediate attention should be focused on pollution sources.

We have been involved with bathing water quality issues since the early 1980s.

Since the opening in 2002 of Yorkshire Water’s full treatment plant at Cowlam Hole which has enabled the North Bay to achieve EU Blue Flag bathing water quality awards year after year, our efforts have been devoted to working alongside Yorkshire Water towards achieving the same Excellence quality rating for the South Bay.

The report in Scarborough News on September 7, reveals a rather odd situation in more than one respect. Whilst the existence of the long-awaited Environment Agency Report is confirmed, the Council have been provided with no more than a summary of its findings. Why should that be when it is well known that the devil often lurks in the detail and transparency over matters pertaining to public health is essential?

Seagulls are awarded a share of the blame for the poor quality rating of the South Bay bathing water but that can be surely little more than a hypothesis as, when away from defacing buildings in the Town, they presumably share the toiletting amenities of both Bays and yet the North Bay achieves the Blue Flag Excellence award! Whilst science by way of DNA analysis can distinguish animal gut bacteria from birds, it is not yet sufficiently advanced to allocate percentages of each in a given sample so far as we are aware. This distraction is, therefore best avoided at the present time and immediate attention focused on pollution sources which are positively identified and where prevention action is possible.

Councillor Cockerill says there is no magic wand the Council can wave to solve the problem. That is true but it does not mean it cannot be solved by others. Not very long ago reports in the press were all about identifying sources of pollution. At last we now have a Report summary which identifies a source of pollution of bathingwaters. This is very substantial progress indeed. Yorkshire Water have shown the way by massive investment in putting in place UV radiation for all the discharges under their responsibility to prevent potentially dangerous bacteria entering bathing waters. We are fortunate indeed that such expertise will no doubt be available to assist those with responsibility for improvements to the discharge from the Wheatcroft outfall.

Freddie Drabble

Sons of Neptune

Scalby Road

Scarborough