YORKSHIRE Water is undertaking a major project in Staithes next week to discover whether it is contributing to the village’s notoriously poor bathing water quality.
Staithes beach has failed annual water quality tests 19 times in the past 23 years and Yorkshire Water is set to test its sewer system to see whether structural leaks may be contributing to the poor quality.
Lee Pitcher, Yorkshire Water’s bathing water strategy manager, said: “Yorkshire already boasts some fantastic beaches and has some of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, if not the world.
“We’re committed, through projects like the one we’re undertaking in Staithes, to playing our part and working as a partnership to hit these very stringent targets set by the EU in the new directive.
“It’s going to need everyone’s support and co-operation in Staithes to do that as there are so many parts of the puzzle that we need to understand if we are to focus our efforts and achieve the new standards.”
The project is the first time Yorkshire Water have completed anything on this scale and will simulate how the sewer system copes under storm conditions.
This has been done before at very low pressures, by filling the lower catchment gravity sewers with water and dye, it has not previously been done under high pressures that would naturally be present under storm conditions.
To help the company monitor flows travelling along its network and identify any breaches, an inert and harmless coloured dye will be used.
In November 2010 Yorkshire Water helped launch a multi-agency partnership, involving Scarborough Borough Council, the Environment Agency and Welcome to Yorkshire, which aims to transform the region’s beaches and bathing waters into some of the best in Europe over the next few years.
Since then, a large amount of investigative work has taken place, including dye-testing at all 20 of Yorkshire’s breaches by Yorkshire Water, and work has taken place to reduce the possibility of agricultural run-off into rivers and ultimately bathing waters.
For more information on the bathing water partnership, its aims and the work it is carrying out, visit www.yorkshirewater.com/excellent