Water Quality Display on Kite Beach
BeachPeople are campaigning to have an A1-sized lectern installed at Kite Beach to inform beachgoers (who often number over 450 in the summer) about the recent water quality with particular focus on raw sewage discharge.
We test the water regularly in the summer for E. Coli and Enterococci and display the results on our website (RHS widget) but feel that it would be more helpful to make that data and others readily available to the public
The board would display:
- Recent BeachPeople water quality results
- Details of the most recent nearby raw sewage discharges by Wessex Water
- Information gleaned from the nascent WW AI system
- BeachPeople campaign updates, eg:
- Our campaign to have Whitley Lake, Kite Beach designated as a bathing water
- Our Badboats campaign to have the polluting derelict glass fibre boats removed from the Harbour and disposed of.
Funding may come from our recent CIL application but if not then it will be sourced from BeachPeople club fund and from donor support.
Untreated (Raw) Sewage Discharges into the Sandbanks Area of Poole Harbour
Data from the Wessex Water Coastwatch system. The feed isn't infallible - some alerts are erroneous and several overlap so you might see three 'Starts' and only one 'Stop' for example, but it gives you an idea of how much raw sewage is being pumped into Poole Harbour. Remember - this is just for the four CSOs in the Sandbanks area - the main outfalls are all in Holes Bay - two dozen CSOs licenced to pump 44,000 metric tons of treated sewage each day into the water and unmonitored (and therefore unlimited) amounts of raw sewage when Wessex Water deem the rain to be 'heavy'. This is a list of the raw sewage discharges.
The 2022 Surfers Against Sewage Water Quality Report's introduction summaries the situation neatly:
The UK is riddled with a crumbling network of sewage pipes that leak and overflow beneath our feet. Our combined sewerage network mixes both sewage effluent and surface water runoff to be treated at one of the thousands of wastewater treatment plants dotted around the country. This system can become overwhelmed at times of heavy rainfall. Over 23,000 sewage overflows, installed throughout the network, are designed to take the pressure off the system when it becomes overloaded, preventing overflowing drains and sewage backing up into our homes. However, these overflows release a chemical cocktail of sewage pollution, agricultural pollution, contaminants from roads, household chemicals, and rainwater directly into our rivers and the ocean. They are therefore intended to be for emergency use only, during periods of ‘exceptionally heavy rainfall’.
The Surfers Against Sewage 2022 Water Quality Report that states Wessex Water discharged only 215 hours over the whole of its cachent area - this is because Kite Beach is not yet designated as a Bathing Water and as such nearby discharges are not included in their figures. The BeachPeople Whitley Lake Campaign aims to change this.
On our widget (right hand column), discharge data shown is for the current month and limited to the small number of CSOs around Sandbanks that we monitor. Time shown is the time the discharge ended. Discharges can span days.
BeachPeople first started out in 2018 as an ocean sports club for adults, plain and simple. Then Covid hit and group activities went out of the window. Rather than sit around waiting for lockdown to end we hunted around to find a way to make a positive difference to our local seas and beaches.
As a result we have three campaigns:
This in a small way attempts to reduce the amount of sewage discharged into Poole Harbour by designating Whitley Lake, Kite Beach, Sandbanks as a bathing water so that it is sampled 20 times per bathing season by the EA
This is intended to display bathing water quality, results of the EA tests and BeachPeople's own tests etc.
This we call Badboats - it aims to have all the derelict glass fibre boats removed from Poole and Christchurch harbours to prevent the non biodegradeable strands of fibre becoming a permanent and damaging part of the ecosystem. IT is a joint collaboration between BCP Council, Poole Harbour Commission and BeachPeople.
BeachPeople are working with Wessex Water and Cllr Mark Anderson of BCP Council to have a water fountain installed at Kite Beach, Sandbanks in order to cut down on single use plastics whils pile up around the bins on busy days
If you feel the campaigns are worthy of your support then you can make a donation of any amount here.
The BeachPeople campaign to have Whitley Lake (aka Kite Beach), Sandbanks designated as a bathing water introduced us to many helpful people who are of similar mind when it comes to protection of the Harbour and its ecosystem.
As the Whitley Lake Campaign is nearly complete, we felt we would like to continue to make a difference and the next obvious candidate is the number of obviously derelict boats either sunk at their moorings or washed/dragged ashore.
At more or less the same time, Practical Boat Owner detailed the results of a study in nearby Chichester Harbour about the effects of glass fibre* on aquatic organisms - it seemed destiny!
Hence the snappily named "BeachPeople Against Derelict Boats On / Around The Shoreline" Campaign (we are working hard on an acronym).
BeachPeople will be working with Poole Harbour Commission and BCP Council to safely recover and dispose of derelict boats found in the water or on the beaches, in order to stop the problem at source.
There are legal issues to overcome involving ownership but our way is to make gentle but continual progress over beer time until the problem is solved.
Since it's largely political this isn't a campaign where we'll be looking for financial support, but we always welcome new members.
*fibre/fibre - fibre is the UK spelling, fiber is the US
GRP - (Glass Reinforced Plastic) is the same as fibreglass - a brittle plastic resin stippled over a chopped strand mat (CSM) or a woven fabric
Fibreglas - that's a generic trademark
..but they are all types of glass fibre; essentially if it breaks down into glass fibre strands in the water then it's a problem
Nov 16th 2022:
BeachPeople tabled this question and for the BCP Cabinet meeting on Nov 8th:
Following a recent study in Chichester Harbour it was found that derelict glass fibre boats do not biodegrade; rather they degrade into strands that can cause cancer in aquatic organisms and become part of the food chain in the form of microplastics. Would BCP support BeachPeople’s second campaign, called BADBOATS, by assisting either with the collection of, or the disposal of, the derelict glass fibre boats sunk and beached around Poole Harbour? BeachPeople intend to work with BCP and PHC to effect a permanent solution to this problem, prevention being better than cure. For more info please see: https://beachpeople.club/index.php/campaigns/derelict-boats
We received this response from Councillor Mark Anderson
I would like to Thank [BeachPeople] for his question and I’m glad the work we have done together on Kite beach is coming to fruition.
The short answer is a qualified YES, we are very keen to support the campaign in relation to sunken boats in the Harbour as we agree with [..] BeachPeople that these are an ecological and environmental hazard and need to be removed. Those areas of the shoreline that is our land and used by us, we will work with the BeachPeople to develop a method for removal, this includes the greenspaces controlled by Environment, and beaches controlled by Destination and Culture. However, there are areas which whilst council land is leased to other users and we may not be able to assist with.