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Caithness News Bulletins December 2005
|December 2005||November 2005|
|SEPA Bathing Waters||SEPA Main||Environment|
Bathing Water Quality Report Out Now
Bathing water quality in Scotland continues to improve with 57 out of 60 designated beaches passing tough European standards. Dunnet Beach one of the beaches in the monitoring programme continues to show the water is of excellent quality in most samples takes in 2005
The full results are published in a report by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) out on 23 Dec 2005. It reveals that of the 60 sites monitored, 23 were of good quality meeting EC 'mandatory' standards for the season with 33 achieving the stricter 'guideline' standards and being of excellent quality.
Investigations have been completed on Nairn East, Eyemouth and Stonehaven, the three recognised sites which failed to meet the Directive's mandatory quality standards this year. Diffuse pollution, an illegal discharge and sewage pollution were identified as contributory factors.
Overall, compliance is 95%, which is an increase on 2004 (93%, 56 beaches). It also compares favourably with 2003 (95% and 57 beaches) which saw some of the best compliance rates since monitoring began, although, fewer waters passed guideline standards, with 33 this year, a fall of six on 2003.
Tom Leatherland, SEPA's Quality Planner, said: "Good progress is being made in improving the quality of Scottish bathing waters. SEPA is working to ensure that all recognised bathing waters achieve European Standards. We cannot do this without the help of others. It is very encouraging to see that investment by the Scottish Executive, Scottish Water, SEPA's pollution control activities and working with the farming community are beginning to deliver real environmental improvements to Scotland's bathing Waters."
Other highlights of the 2005 season include:
Full results of all the beaches monitored are available online at www.sepa.org.uk/bathingwaters
The EC Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) was created
to protect and enhance the quality of bathing waters throughout Europe.
Mandatory standard: The water quality set by the EU, which Member States must observe. If achieved, a mandatory pass indicates good water quality.
Guideline Standard: EU water quality standard that is stricter than the mandatory and if achieved, indicates excellent water quality.
During the 2005 bathing waters season, SEPA monitored 46
other coastal, estuarine and inland sites for bacterial quality. These
Of the 46 sampling sites, in 2005:
Another SEPA Story
Diageo Distilling Ltd
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) was alerted to the incident on 22 February 2005 at the drinks company's Glen Ord Distillery at Muir Of Ord after a member of the public complained of seeing an oily sheen in the Logie Burn. A distillery manager also contacted SEPA to report a leakage of heating oil from a storage tank.
Investigations by SEPA officers discovered heavy fuel oil had escaped through a hole in a bund wall and entered a surface water drain, leading to the Logie Burn.
Investigating officer Vicky Reilly said: "Fuel oil can have a severe polluting effect on a watercourse. Oil can prevent oxygen transfer into water from the air. The toxic effect of oil, and a lack of oxygen in water can kill fish and invertebrates, which are an important source of food for the fish. This case highlights the importance of having a properly constructed and maintained bund for fuel storage systems to ensure any spilled oil is contained in the bund and prevented from discharging to the environment."
Diageo Distilling Limited pled guilty at Dingwall Sheriff Court on Thursday 22 December and was fined £10,000.