Chichester harbour water 'would fail EU bathing water standards'

Water in Chichester Harbour would fail ‘EU bathing water standards’, figures suggest.

While Chichester Harbour is not a designated bathing water, Chichester Harbour Conservancy Trust compares results with the standards set out in the EU Bathing Water Directive.

A recent sample of water by the Chichester Yacht Club slipway shows that levels of Enterococci, a bacteria found in the faeces of most humans, were against the compliance standards of the European Bathing Water Directive.

In an email seen by this newspaper, it is said that the impact on harbour users ‘in this instance would be extremely low’.

DM17629709a.jpg Chichester harbour. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170620-164851008

The news comes just a week after Southern Water showed figures stating that bathing water standards at nearby West Wittering, Bracklesham Bay and Selsey were ‘excellent’.

A spokesman for Southern Water said: “Southern Water is leading a multi-agency partnership dedicated to improving the ecological health of Chichester and Langstone Harbours and the Harbour Conservancy is a key partner in this effort.

"We are currently conducting base line monitoring of water quality and analysing the sources of nutrients and pollution. Shortly we will be trialling a real time water quality monitoring buoy.

"We are currently launching pathfinder projects with the aim of releasing storm water releases by 80 per cent by the year 2030 and have pledged to cut pollution incidents by 80 per cent by 2025 as a result of the £2 billion we are investing on wastewater equipment and network and environmental protection between 2020 and 2025.

"Chichester Harbour is working harbour and not a designated bathing water. The thousands of boats which use the waters along with agriculture and industry all contribute to water quality so while we are a key custodian of our precious water habitats we are not the only one. Only by working together will the future of the harbour be protected and enhanced.”

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