A correspondent writes on Blue Flags

From a correspondent:

Yesterday Owl reported that “The owner of Exmouth Watersports company has written to South West Water claiming that sewage pollution in the sea is damaging his business” and then also reported that Exmouth has been a “Blue Flag” beach for five years.

I was not entirely sure what merited the award for a blue flag so was astounded to read that WATER QUALITY was a requirement.

“The Blue Flag is a certification given to beaches by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).  A beach that has been awarded the blue flag means that it meets the organisation’s standards of environmental management. These standards are for water quality, safety, and public environmental education. Local governments try to get the Blue Flag for their beaches and marinas, to show people that they have high environmental and quality standards.

The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE which is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation. It is made up of 65 organisations in 60 member countries in Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Americas.”

Perhaps the 32 times that sewage discharged in Exmouth for 418 hours from the Sewage Treatment Works, plus the 39 episodes of 470 hours from Maer Pumping Station in 2022 is considered acceptable. See: Sewage Map | The Rivers Trust (sewage pollution was considerably down last year from previous years due to less rainfall)

I then looked at Sidmouth which has a four year history of an award, 48 discharge episodes totalling 608 hours in 2022.

Seaton, with only two previous awards, experienced 49 discharge episodes totalling 490 hours in 2022.

Beer, the newcomer, experienced a mere few hours of outfall.  Perhaps the only beach which may be said to have met the public’s expectations.

Budleigh Salterton doesn’t have a Blue Flag, why not?

BS experienced a mere 31 episodes of 270 hours duration.

That beats Sidmouth, Seaton and Exmouth. 

Did the FEE know about the Honiton Waste Water Treatment works discharging for 1,966 hours over 115 episodes into the River Otter eventually flowing onto the beach, and then thought twice? (Not to mention Gittisham, another 606 hours and all outfalls south).

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