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Sussex beaches could be boost to tourism
Tourism could see a boost after Sussex’s beaches were given a clean bill of health.
The Marine Conservation Society said a dry summer last year had helped as it released this year’s Good Beach Guide.
Several of the south coast’s beaches saw an improvement in standards compared to last year when previous wet summers took their toll.
Beaches are marked in four categories, the highest being recommended meaning excellent water quality and the worst being fail.
Recommended beaches not only met the minimum water requirements but also 100% of samples did not exceed 2,000 E.coli per 100 ml.
All of Brighton and Hove’s beaches were awarded the top mark and it is hoped this will be a big boon for beachside businesses looking forward to a dry and sunny summer.
MCS coastal pollution officer Rachel Wyatt said: “It’s great news that we are able to recommend more beaches than ever for excellent water quality, and it shows just how good British beaches can be.
“The main challenge now is maintaining these standards, whatever the weather.
“Most people don’t realise what a big impact the weather can have on bathing water quality, but this has really been highlighted in the last few years. 2008, 2009 and 2012 were, according to the Met Office, among the wettest summers on record since 1910, and fewer UK bathing waters met minimum and higher water quality standards because of increased pollution running off rural and urban areas and overloaded sewers.”
Only four of Sussex’s beaches failed to reach the top grade.
Lancing (Beach Green), Bognor (Aldwick), Bexhill and Hastings all were rated as mandatory.
This means they all met the |minimum water quality.
By the end of the 2015 bathing |season, all designated bathing waters must meet the new minimum |“sufficient” standard under the new EU Bathing Water Directive.
This will be about twice as stringent as the current minimum standard and means some beaches will need to do more to make the grade in the future.
Beaches which do not meet the “sufficient” standard at the end of 2015 will have to display signs warning against bathing in the sea from the start of the bathing season in 2016.
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