A pollution risk warning has been issued for Viking Bay for a second day.
The Environment Agency makes daily pollution risk forecasts and will issue the warning against bathing in the sea when water quality is forecast to reduce. This can be based on factors such as heavy rainfall or strong winds.
A warning was initially issued yesterday (August 1) and has been renewed for today.
A Yellow National Severe Weather Warning for wind has also been issued for southern parts of England today, running from 04:00-6pm. Gusts are likely to reach 50mph in some English Channel coastal areas. A Yellow severe weather warning for thunderstorms has also been issued covering a large area of central England and Wales.
Advice against bathing
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Throughout the bathing season, we make daily pollution risk forecasts for a number of bathing waters, where water quality may be temporarily reduced based on factors, such as heavy rainfall, wind or the tide. When a temporary reduction in water quality is forecast, we issue a pollution risk warning and advice against bathing.
“This enables bathers to avoid times or locations where the risk of pollution is higher than normal, and health risks from bathing may be higher than the annual classification suggests.
“Members of the public should report environmental concerns to us on our free 24-hour incident hotline, 0800 80 70 60.”
Advice against bathing is advisory and public access to the beach and the bathing water remains open.
The Environment Agency says it is not aware of any specific problems related to the local sewerage system in this area and this is a routine warning based on its forecasting system.
However, the red flag warning means businesses are likely to suffer a loss of trade. For Kent Surf School boss Andy Webb it will result in a second day of cancelling groups booked to go out on the water and the hire of equipment.
It’s the fourth pollution warning from the Environment Agency since the beginning of July and each one means the loss of income for Andy and his instructors.
The dad-of-two says he has asked Thanet council about relocating sessions while the alert is in place for Viking Bay. He has a licence to operate from Stone Bay but needs a base to work from.
Thanet council yesterday (August 1) displayed signs advising against bathing at Viking Bay in Broadstairs.
A spokesperson said: “These signs are displayed to advise the public that water quality is likely to be reduced so they can make an informed decision whether to swim.
“Water quality testing is carried out by the Environment Agency between May and September each year. The results are publicly available on the Environment Agency’s website. The council has signed up to the Environment Agency’s Pollution Risk Forecast scheme (PRF).”
The Environment Agency makes daily pollution risk forecasts on the Swimfo website to inform bathers about the water quality. Warnings are posted on its water quality website: Swimfo