Letter: Action needed now to restore water quality
We are acutely aware that the Blue Flag of Excellence of bathing water quality will not be seen in our North Bay next year where it has proudly flown for many years.
It is 15 years since the Sons of Neptune joined forces with Yorkshire Water to pool research to achieve higher bathing water quality after even more years before that of contention with them as well as government here at the highest level and ultimately action in the EU to achieve a new directive to stop sewage being discharged to the sea without treatment. So what has happened in the past 15 years? Change of climate with heavier sporadic rainfall has necessitated the increased use of storm overflows discharging untreated sewage.
To reduce the frequency of these coming into operation, there has been investment of more than £50m in increased storage at Marine Drive and at the waste water treatment plant at Cowlam where each of the massive storage tanks is linked to added UV radiation installations to kill bacteria.
More recently the outfall at Wheatcroft has been extended.
In the course of all this, numerous scientific studies have been commissioned, and recently jointly by Yorkshire Water and the Sons of Neptune, to identify linkage between pollution sources and the bathing waters.
Massive investment in improvements will only follow scientific proof not anecdotal evidence. That is the hard reality.
This scientific work has been done and the need for further investment established.
Time has not been wasted.
The urgency for action is now being impressed and not only by the Sons of Neptune - as when pollution impacts on bathing water quality which today exacts standards which were unheard of some 50 years ago – it has to be assumed there will be an impact on marine life and we are indeed fortunate that the inshore fishermen have not been slow to fight that quarter.
Sons of Neptune