Although Defra in their Bathing Water Report for 2022 have classified eight of Thanet’s bathing beaches as ‘Excellent’ and five classified as ‘Good’, it’s not all plain sailing for tourism bosses.

Bathing water quality at Viking Bay has improved from ‘Sufficient’ to ‘Good’, meaning that all of the district’s bays are now classified as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.

However, water quality at Walpole Bay in Margate and West Bay in Westgate-on-Sea has decreased from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Good’.

All other ratings remain unchanged from the 2021 report.

Thanet Council report there has been a great deal of hard work to help improve the quality of the bathing water along Thanet’s coastline. In particular, there has been considerable help from a range of community groups to ensure that Viking Bay has continued to improve.

The council’s beach management initiatives have included litter picks, additional waste and recycling bins, and tackling anti-social behaviour in the area. There is also a dog Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which was renewed in 2020 and lists the beaches that welcome dogs during peak season or stipulates time and on/off lead restrictions. In addition, their Beach and Coast PSPO Code of Conduct outlines rules surrounding specific activities, to ensure that beach users respect our beaches, wildlife and other beach users.

Thanet Council says it is committed to continuing these initiatives to ensure that bathing water quality is improving or maintained at all of our bays.

About water quality

Water quality at designated bathing water sites in England is assessed by the Environment Agency. From May to September, weekly assessments measure current water quality, and at a number of sites daily pollution risk forecasts are issued. Annual ratings classify each site as excellent, good, sufficient or poor based on measurements taken over a period of up to four years. As such, results are not just a reflection of the past 12 months but can be affected by the years preceding too.

You can read more about the results on Defra’s website.

By Ed

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