Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

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mcgruff
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Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by mcgruff »

"More than half of Scotland’s most popular beaches for wild swimming have been polluted with unsafe levels of sewage this summer, with one tourist hotspot 50 times higher than the safe limit.

"Fourteen of these were among 38 swimming spots where water quality is classed as ‘excellent’ by @ScottishEPA. The contamination mostly occurs after heavy rain and it can pose serious health risks to swimmers and surfers.

"The highest concentrations of faecal bacteria this summer were found at Lower Largo beach in Fife. Levels there were found to be at least 50 times the safe limit on three separate occasions.

If you're on twitter:

https://twitter.com/FerretScot/status/1705888576666267988

Full report on The Ferret website (subscription required: cheapest offer seems to be £7:50 for three months).

https://theferret.scot/half-of-scotland-most-popular-beaches-sewage/
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john.ruston
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Re: Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by john.ruston »

That article was most interesting. Also shocking. Lots more of wider interest in that newsletter too. Many Thanks for posting.
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leighv
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Re: Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by leighv »

This is a national scandal for which our current government is almost entirely to blame. More and more it's clear that those in power just don't give a rat's ass about the environment, and it's both infuriating and downright depressing.
mrcharly
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Re: Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by mrcharly »

Which government?
The article is about Scotland - which is SNP/Green. Difficult to say that they don't care about the environment.

Up here, quite a few people would say that the environmental policies pushed by the current scottish goverment don't care about people (e.g. HPMA).

The headline is very misleading. The tested beaches only came back with high levels *after* heavy rain.

It is really difficult to prevent sewage from being washed into rivers from farms. (You should take a look at the Cam in Cambridge, it is pea-green with animal faeces year-round).
I'd back and encourage a program of subsidised slurry tanks and treatment works for farms.

Oh, and for one of the beaches:

"Dog and gull faeces have been identified as two significant sources of the pollution there. "

Well, that's a human behaviour problem. Pick up after your dogs and don't leave food waste around that encourages gulls.
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leighv
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Re: Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by leighv »

mrcharly wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2023 9:10 am
Which government?
I should have been clearer in my post that I was referring to the problem of sewage in our waterways more broadly than just Scotland, since it's been an increasing issue across most of the UK, especially over the past year or two. The fact that I now need to check websites for shit in the water before I go paddle somewhere is absolutely unacceptable.
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Re: Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by Franky »

I'm not saying that there isn't a problem, but there are some dubious statements in that article.

"Campaigners told The Ferret..." Which campaigners?

"Dog and gull faeces have been identified as two significant sources of the pollution there." These are weasel words. The report actually states,

"Our regulatory and scientific assessment indicates that potential sources of short-term faecal indicator pollution at this bathing water can originate from animal sources, most significantly from gulls and dogs."

In other words, there is a short-term increase in faecal pollution after a flock of seagulls has been around. That is exactly what one would expect and I suspect nothing to worry about unduly.

Anyway, humans refraining from feeding seagulls just means they'll have to catch more fish rather than eating our leftovers. It won't stop them from needing to poo. Yes, they'll hang around beaches less... But what is the concern here? The environment, or the convenience of human beings?

I'd guess that the droppings of animals are, as it were, a drop in the ocean compared to sewage pollution.

As I say, I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but to me the article gives the impression of having started from its conclusions and worked backwards from them.
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Re: Report: "Half of Scotland's Most Popular Beaches Plagued By Sewage"

Post by Mark Graham »

I don't want to appear to be trivialising the subject, it's obviously of concern but as sea kayakers I think most of us go to great lengths to avoid all, not just half, of the 'most popular ' beaches.
That's not to suggest the areas we seek out aren't necessarily affected though.
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