Message from Wessex Water, re local plans but also for general information as it may have implications elsewhere?
You were contacted by my colleague Andy Mears in February 2015 to inform you of Wessex Water’s intention to complete winter surveys at a number of beaches along the Somerset and North Somerset coast. We are now writing to share with you the results of the beach surveys that were completed between October 2015 and April 2016.
The aim of the beach surveys were to assess the costs and benefits associated with considering seasonal (rather than the current all year round) ultraviolet treatment at several sewage works. This data has been collated and the results are summarised in the report which can be accessed using this link:
Following the initial consultation with stakeholders, we decided not to include Clevedon beach as part of the winter surveys due to evidence of all year round use. However, we have been unable to find evidence at the remaining beaches of any organised water based events outside the bathing season. If you are able to provide evidence of any such events, please forward this information for inclusion in the report.
You will see from the recommendations that we are proposing to make a request to the Environment Agency to amend the current permits to allow ultraviolet treatment outside the bathing season to be switched off (but maintain a requirement for the equipment to be switched on prior to planned events where bathing water quality matters).
If accepted, the change would save approximately 862 MWh/yr of electrical energy (the equivalent of 428 tonnes/yr of CO2 emissions). Those who benefit from this significant amount of energy use are few. We have reached the conclusion that an individual using the sea outside of the bathing water season at the beaches surveyed incurs the use of a similar amount of energy in one hour as an average person would do over a whole year in a domestic residence.
We recognise that our recommendations may not appear favourable from your viewpoint, but hope that the facts presented enable you to consider the costs to the environment as well as the benefits to users of the current arrangements.
We welcome your comments and observations on this report and request that these are submitted for consideration before Friday 16th September. If you would like to respond with comments but are not able to do so before this date, please let me know.
Waste Water Strategy Advisor
Operations Centre, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7WW
Mobile: 07920 191293
Direct Tel: 01225 526230