Scarborough Borough Council meeting on 3 July 2017.
Statement from Cllr. Cockerill with update on pollution investigation from Environment Agency:
Environment Agency update (presented to SBC 3 July 2017 meeting):
“I understand the delay in producing the reports is frustrating, however it does highlight the highly complex nature of the investigations and subsequent lab analysis. Although frustrating it is essential we undertake due process to ensure that we fully understand what the evidence is telling us and not draw conclusions on misleading raw data. The latest position is that the Environment Agency report is due by the end of July, as a I have said, I understand the frustration that this is more than three months later than originally intended, however I refer you to my previous comments regarding due process. With regard to an action plan, the Agency, Yorkshire Water and other partners in the bathing beach partnership are not sitting back and waiting for the report before any action is taken. It is important to clarify that the report will indicate what is causing the beach to fail, however as I mentioned in the December meeting, the aim is not to get the beach back to sufficient, it is to return the beach to excellent and obtain a blue flag. To this end, the Agency is continuing to work with Scarborough B Council, McCain, Yorkshire Water and the other partners to tackle all the issues required to achieve excellent bathing water quality. This includes the re-permitting of Wheatcroft, improvements to industrial and sewage discharges, operations within the harbour. We are also working to understand and mitigate the contribution of seabirds, donkeys and dogs in water quality. The Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership is using the results of new research to identify what needs to be done to improve water quality at Scarborough South Bay.
- The Environment Agency has carried out cutting-edge DNA profiling on water samples to help identify different sources of pollution.
- We are now using this data to better understand what can be done to improve water quality at Scarborough South Bay.
- Laboratory analysis of the samples shows that a number of different factors must be tackled to improve Scarborough South Bay’s water, including birds, sewage, and industrial effluent.
- The data suggests that no single factor is responsible for lowering Scarborough South Bay’s water quality.
- Achieving ‘sufficient’ will require more than one source to be tackled. Achieving ‘excellent’ will require all sources to be tackled.”
Scarbrough south bay bathing water contains human, bird and dog feacal matter (sewage from Yorkshire Water WwTW) and trade effluent (also containing human waste) from the McCain factory.